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Orlando Magic Needs an Explosive Offense to Steal Game 2 Against the Cavaliers

Little ‘Magic’ Coming From Orlando…

The Orlando Magic must make many adjustments after Saturday’s 97-83 road loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Orlando Magic Needs an Explosive Offense to Steal Game 2 Against the Cavaliers
Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic | Jason Miller/Getty Images/AFP

NBA news outlets witnessed how the Cavaliers gave the Magic a rude awakening in Game 1 of their playoff series. The Cavaliers made their first five 3-point attempts to take an early lead and they never looked back.

The Magic defense improved, holding the Cavaliers to just three more 3-pointers for the rest of the game. However, the offense struggled significantly. Orlando shot just 32.6% from the field and 21.6% from 3-point range. They also struggled at the free-throw line, making just 19 of their 30 attempts.

Paolo Banchero led the way for the Magic with 24 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Franz Wagner, Jalen Suggs, Jonathan Isaac, and Moe Wagner also scored in double figures.

NBA rumors suggest that the Cavaliers could trade Donovan Mitchell if he doesn’t agree to a contract extension in the offseason. Mitchell is focused on helping Cleveland go far in the playoffs. The star guard had a game-high 30 points, three assists, and three steals in Game 1.

Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen added monster double-doubles. Mobley had 16 rebounds and 11 assists, and Allen added 16 points and 18 rebounds.

Magic Must Improve Offensively in Game 2

The Magic are a persistent team. And they’ve embraced a defensive identity relentlessly going after players with physicality, especially on the perimeter. It helped them win enough NBA games to make the playoffs. Now they need more than that to win in the playoffs.

On Saturday, the Magic tried to close the gap with the Cavaliers stop after stop, but they just could not hit their shots. You can’t win in the playoffs unless you establish momentum with your offense! It’s all about the little things! Not scoring when you need to keep pace with your opponent is a recipe for disaster.

Cleveland does a great job of packing the paint in and they do a great job of flying at shots,” Magic head coach Jamahl Mosley said after the game.

A big portion of this is us continuing to be willing to step into those shots with confidence which our team will continue to do. It’s the little things in these games. If you look at the stat sheet there are a lot of similar things going through it. Now it’s got to be the little things that take over. It’s making your free throws. It’s coming up with the 50/50 balls in those situations.

The Magic had their worst shooting game of the season at the worst possible time. Missing 11 free throws didn’t help their cause. They also picked the wrong time to have a slow start that forced them to face an uphill climb for the rest of the game.

There were flashes of a team that was capable of competing, especially on defense. However, not making your shots consistently will lead to an early exit in the playoffs. The Paolo Banchero stats were decent and Franz Wagner played well, but the Magic needed more from everyone else. Cole Anthony, Markelle Fultz, and Gary Harris all have to step up in the rest of this series.

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