The Orlando Magic avoided another late game collapse Thursday night, surviving a run by the Utah Jazz and improving their record to 3-2 after five games.
Maybe a better way to say it is Paolo Banchero rose to the occasion and scored a tough driving bucket to take the lead back with just 14.1 seconds to go.
Yeah, that sounds better.
Unfortunately, it looks like an injury to Wendell Carter could have him sidelined for a good amount of time, which is not ideal as the team looks toward the future.
But getting back into the winner’s circle is exactly what the Magic needed, finishing this mini west coast trip 2-2, with losses to both Los Angeles teams.
The Orlando Magic have gotten off to a solid 3-2 start as they establish their identity and their course for the season. Even though it is early, some intriguing trends have emerged.
As we have seen so far, the Orlando Magic have no trouble beating the bad to average teams, with victories over the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz. It is punching above their weight class that has been the struggle so far this year.
But as is always the case in the NBA, the games do not let up and you always have another opportunity to shift the narrative. Starting with the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Saturday, the Orlando Magic have four straight “home” games — three in Orlando and another in Mexico City — against what looks like four playoff teams.
This could be the time to prove it. If the Magic make a real stand here, it could go a long way the rest of the season.
First though, it might be good to assess where we are at and there’s no better way to tell the story than a fan favorite for NBA nerds – numbers!
Here are three surprising stats from our ever-so-small five game sample size.