Through 11 games this season, the young Orlando Magic team is 3-8. On paper, the record doesn’t look good. However, if you watch the games, you can see that the score doesn’t always tell the story.
The starting lineup consisting of Cole Anthony, Jalen Suggs, Franz Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., and Mo Bamba leads the NBA in total net rating with 18.1. The starters always jump out quick and fast with lots of energy. As soon as the bench comes in, the game takes a turn.
One of the big things this season, so far, has been the emergence of second-year PG Cole Anthony. Through 11 games, Anthony is averaging 20.2 points per game (35th), 7.1 rebounds per game (44th), and 5.2 assists per game (22nd).
In the month of November, Anthony has two 30 point games, including his latest act against the Utah Jazz on Sunday. Cole Anthony was doing literally everything; as the Magic entered the fourth quarter trailing by 10 points. Anthony brought it to a whole different level in the fourth on both offense and defense, helping the Magic end up with the win and a final score of 107-100.
Cole Anthony is currently leading this young team and doing a great job at it. He has improved his points per game from 12.9 in his rookie season last year to 20.2 this season. Anthony is currently shooting 41.4% from three and 44.8% overall. In comparison, Anthony shot 33.7% from three and 39.7% overall last year. For something that seemed to be a big weakness last season, Anthony has truly improved his shooting game.
The Magic have a lot of young talent destined to break out and contribute, but right now, Anthony seems to be the guy. We’re only eleven games in, but currently, he is showing that there is no such thing as a sophomore slump.