"The communication was spotty": Paolo Banchero breaks down two pivotal factors in Magic's game 7 defeat to Cavs

Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Seven
Paolo Banchero points to two factors that led the Orlando Magic to a Game 7 collapse

Despite Paolo Banchero's huge effort on Sunday, the young Orlando Magic had a rude awakening on what playoff basketball is about as they lost 106-94 to the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 7. The second-year star pointed out two factors that led to the squandering of an 18-point, second-quarter lead.

However, in the second half, the home team came in with more grit and got the support of the crowd as well.

"In the second half, they really turned the intensity up on defense, and then, I think, it's also the crowd plays a part. It's hard to hear out there," Banchero said (at the 3:37 mark). "In terms of coach getting the call to us or us getting the call to each other, it is hard to hear. The crowd was a factor in that sense where, you know, the communication was spotty."

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Paolo Banhero led Orlando with 38 points, 15 rebounds, three steals, three triples, two assists and one block. Wendell Carter Jr. added 13 points, while Jalen Suggs made it to double-figure scoring with 10.


Paolo Banchero defends Franz Wagner's off night in Game 7

With Game 7 between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic in the record books, the statistics showed that Franz Wagner's off night was also a factor in Orlando's loss. The German forward shot only 1 of 15 to register only six points.

When asked what he thought about Wagner's off night, Banchero said:

"Sometimes the game doesn't always go your way. We are not here without Franz. He obviously holds himself to a high standard and he expects a lot of himself. ... I've been in that position as well where you feel you could have done a lot more in a losing effort. That doesn't define him. It doesn't define us."

The last time the Orlando Magic entered the NBA playoffs was in 2019, when they lost to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the first round. Their most recent playoff series win was in 2009 when Dwight Howard led them to the Eastern Conference finals.

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