Top 10 Orlando Magic games of the 2022 season
1. Franz Wagner’s coming out party — at Minnesota Timberwolves (Nov. 1)
There was a fair amount of skepticism about Franz Wagner.
To the amateur draft observers, he felt like a safe pick. Someone who could fill in the gaps, be in the right spots and just produce within the flow of the offense.
That stuff obviously gets taken for granted. Coaches love that. But for a team just starting a rebuild, it always felt like the Magic would need more. They would need someone who could take the ball, drive the basket and jam it on someone. Or someone who could just score.
When it became clear Wagner was something more than everyone thought in the draft process was this night in Minneapolis.
The play of the game saw Wagner drive the lane and throw down a monster jam over Karl-Anthony Towns to put the exclamation point on the game.
His final statement that night: 28 points, 5-for-9 shooting from beyond the arc. It was the first big scoring game of the year for Wagner and immediately put him in the conversation as one of the best rookies in the class — one that he is still a part of in a very deep rookie class.
The rest of the team was not too shabby either.
Orlando erased a six-point deficit entering the fourth quarter with an incredible 43-19 quarter. Cole Anthony scored 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and Franz Wagner had 10 in the quarter. The Magic just caught fire and put the screws to a Timberwolves team still seeking its identity and trying to shed some demons (the Magic would later beat the Timberwolves in similar fashion at home after the All-Star Break).
This was just another game that showed the fight of this Magic team and how much fun this group could be together. And it is a game that certainly stands out in a difficult season.