Paolo Banchero Led Magic Make Their NBA Playoff Debut

Apr 17, 2024

This is one squad that next to nobody had pegged to make any noise this year, except for yours truly. Seriously, check the receipts below back when we made our pre-season predictions.

The Orlando Magic made some serious waves this year, solidifying the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. While many viewed Orlando as a play-in tournament team at best, this Magic squad surged their way into the postseason led by their 3rd overall ranked defense. That’s third in the entire NBA, just to be clear.

They only finished one game back from the Cleveland Cavaliers who snatched the 4th seed in the east and subsequently, will host the Orlando Magic in round one, with home court advantage. 

For Magic fans, it’s been an exciting year, that’s also been met with some frustration. On one hand, new success under Coach of the Year candidate Jamahl Mosely and star forward Paolo Banchero. On the other hand, there has been little to no media coverage on this impressive roster.

Let’s touch on Paolo Banchero. It’s hard to recall another first overall pick that would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors, then go on to make his first All-Star appearance the following year, lead his team to a playoff berth, and get little to no attention league wide. Paolo led the team in Points (22.6), Assists (5.4), Rebounds (6.9) and Minutes (35) this season. Those numbers jump off the page, no matter what market you’re in.

Jamahl Mosely has turned around the direction of this organization which earned him a contract extension with the Magic. Coach Mosely has complete buy-in from the team as you can tell from teammates speaking about him during press conferences and opposing coaches that sing his praises. It’s a three coach race between Coach Mosely, Coach Daigneualt of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Coach Finch of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

See below for interviews with Coach Mosely, Joe Ingles and Memphis Grizzlies Coach, Taylor Jenkins.

If you’re Cleveland, prepare for a 7 game battle. This is a Magic squad that matches up great against the Cavs lengthy squad. Look for defenders like Jonathon Isaac and Jalen Suggs to matchup against Cleveland’s star  Donovan Mitchell and for low scoring games to be the theme in this lockdown matchup.

Josh Elijah

Touring stand-up comic with Yuk Yuk’s. Host of the ‘Down By Two’ Podcast and ‘DB2 Bets.’ Take him on the over.

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