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Everyone praises Young Magic Star after losing Game 7

CLEVELAND, OHIO - MAY 05: Donovan Mitchell #45 of the Cleveland Cavaliers handles the ball against Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic during the third quarter in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference First Round Playoffs at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on May 5, 2024 in Cleveland, OH.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that by downloading and/or using this photo, user agrees to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

The Orlando Magic were not a team anyone expected to do much damage in the Eastern Conference this season, as the consensus seemed to be that the team needed some more experienced talent and was about a season or two away from making a jump in the ranking. .

However, the Magic defied expectations during the 2023-2024 NBA regular season by winning 47 games, capturing the Southeast Division title and securing the fifth seed in the East.

Although the Magic were one of the surprise teams in the league this season, with Paolo Banchero coming into his own as a potential superstar, Orlando was not expected to make much noise in the playoffs, especially as the team was severely lacking in offensive production. department.

Despite being doubted and written off in the postseason, the Magic gave Donovan Mitchell and the Cleveland Cavaliers all they could handle in the first round, forcing them into a Game 7.

Unfortunately, the Magic fell short in Game 7 on Sunday, but the future looks bright indeed for Orlando, with Banchero leading the way via NBA Central.

On Sunday, Banchero played perhaps the best game of his NBA career, with the newcomer scoring a team-high 38 points and 16 rebounds.

In 80 games during the regular season, Banchero averaged 22.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 5.4 assists per game while shooting 45.5% from the floor and 33.9% from beyond the arc.

While these aren’t monster numbers by any means, Banchero only seems to be getting better as he steps into his role as the undisputed leader and face of the Magic franchise.

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Kendrick Perkins reacts to Orlando Magic’s playoff elimination