Top 10 Orlando Magic games of the 2022 season
5. Franz Steps Up — vs. Denver Nuggets (Dec. 1)
The Orlando Magic knew they had something in Franz Wagner by this point of the season. The shift in perceptions and what Wagner could do was well underway. But this game against the Denver Nuggets cemented that Wagner could do something a whole lot more.
Wagner had a lot of highlight-worthy plays — two of them are still to come on this list. But one of the big moments that stood out to me was what happened at the end of this December game.
With the game tied late in the fourth quarter, Wagner pulled off a step-back move nobody thought he had in his game. He took two dribbles into the lane and then quickly retreated, stepping back into a go-ahead three-pointer.
If there were clues that Wagner could handle a lot more and take a bigger role offensively, this was it. That shot will hang with me as the potential Wagner could have as the leading scorer for the team.
Wagner ended the game with 15 points and five assists for the game. It was not Wagner’s biggest performance, but it was a big moment.
Orlando gave up only 40 points in the second half to come from behind and take the victory. This was the core of what the Magic wanted to be. And to see it play out to get a win over a playoff opponent was a big step forward for the Magic.
Orlando was still finding its footing in early December. There was no consistency. But this was as much a sign of the future the team was looking to build as anything else at this point in the season.