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Magic’s Franz Wagner gets brutally honest about Game 7 performance after loss to Cavs

After a thrilling win in Game 6, the Orlando Magic’s playoff journey concluded with a 106-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7 on Sunday, with Franz Wagner reflecting on his performance while Paolo Banchero and Head Coach Jamahl Mosley shared their insights offered.

Paolo Banchero offers support to Franz Wagner despite problems in Game 7

Paolo Banchero, the standout performer for the Magic throughout the series, expressed his unwavering support for teammate Franz Wagner, who faced challenges in Game 7 after a stellar rebounding performance in Game 6. Reflecting on Wagner’s struggles, Banchero noted:

“Sometimes the game doesn’t always go the way you want. We’re not here without Franz. It’s clear he holds himself to a high standard and he expects a lot from himself as a player. I’ve also been in that position where you feel like you could have done a lot more with a losing effort. But this doesn’t define him, it doesn’t define us, he’ll have a great summer, he’ll get better, and knowing him I know he’ll use this to motivate him and take him to another level.

Franz Wagner’s performance in Game 6 was exemplary, with 26 points on seven for 16 shooting. Game 7, however, proved to be a different story as Wagner managed just six points, six assists, and six rebounds while converting just one field goal out of 15 attempts. Despite this setback, Wagner’s overall performance in the series remained remarkable, with averages of 18.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. Wagner, along with Banchero and Jalen Suggs, formed the youngest trio to score more than 20 points in a playoff game, highlighting the Magic’s promising future on their playoff journey.

Wagner’s reflections and Mosley’s pride on the team’s first Playoff run

Magic's Franz Wagner guarded by Cavaliers' Max Strus with Jamahl Mosley on the sideline in Game 7

Reflecting on the playoff experience, Wagner highlighted the mental challenges and learning opportunities:

“No matter how mental it is, there are ups and downs in a series. I thought for the most part we bounced back really well after a tough loss. Mentally knowing when we’re giving up a run, especially on the road, I think we need to get a little bit better there and I would see myself doing that too.

Despite facing challenges in Game 7, Wagner remained hopeful about his future performance. Looking back on the game he acknowledged:

“I didn’t really get to the places I wanted to go, I was probably a bit rushed and some shots just didn’t go in. So I expect a lot more from myself and yes, it sucks to have a season like this. I feel like I let my team down a little bit.”

Coach Jamahl Mosley echoed Banchero’s sentiments and expressed pride in Wagner’s efforts despite the loss:

“I am so proud of our group. I’m so proud of these young men and the way they played, they competed all year. No matter what the circumstances are or were, these guys have stuck together, they’ve kept fighting, they’ve kept fighting for each other. I know it sucks now, it really does. But you can’t say, I can’t say and we can’t say how proud I am of this group and of our employees.”

Jamahl Mosley praises Wagner’s competitiveness in Magic’s playoff series

Continuing, Mosley highlighted Wagner’s resilience and competitive spirit:

“Listen, this man fought, Franz Wagner fought and he did everything he could to get what he needed, and notice those three fouls earlier… I’m not being fined. So at the end of the day, you can get thrown out of your rhythm and you’re attacking the basket the same way P (Paolo Banchero) and Donovan Mitchell were, and you’re not getting the same calls. You just have to look at that a little bit. But again, this young man is as competitive as anyone I’ve seen, he wants it more and he’s a tough kid, he’ll bounce back and there’s a reason he’ll be an All-Star too.

Despite the disappointing end to their playoff run, the Magic showed their potential for future success. With a young and talented roster, the Magic remain poised for continued growth and development in the coming seasons.