3 Orlando Magic players who lost the most from the playoffs

The Orlando Magic needed to reach the postseason so they could gain the experience of going through a series and be better prepared for their likely long playoff run. Still, the playoffs revealed some fault lines worth discussing and growing from.
Franz Wagner struggled during the Playoffs and especially in Game 7. That will hang with him through the offseason as the Orlando Magic plan their return.
Franz Wagner struggled during the Playoffs and especially in Game 7. That will hang with him through the offseason as the Orlando Magic plan their return. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Franz Wagner

On the national stage, no one is probably a bigger loser from the Orlando Magic‘s playoff run than Franz Wagner.

The Magic are just so rarely on national TV and in the spotlight, that it seemed like everyone's impressions about this team and what they are building were cemented in Game 7. And so a lot of the national perception of the team is that the Magic need a second star to pair with Paolo Banchero.

Orlando will not throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to Wagner. The team is not going to let one bad game dictate its decisions. The Magic are still as likely to offer Wagner a max extension this offseason and confirm their belief in this young forward.

But . . . even Wagner admitted his 1-for-15 showing in Game 7 would be something he would be thinking about all offseason. There is a redemption tour on deck for Wagner, at least to prove the doubters wrong.

More than anything, Wagner needs a redemption season to prove he should be that running mate to play alongside Banchero.

Wagner's playoff showing specifically left something to be desired. He averaged 18.9 points per game (down from 19.7 per game in the regular season). Wagner had shooting splits of 40.8/26.5/88.6.

He made only 9 of his 34 three-pointers. He made only 9 of 31 three-pointers when the closest defender was four or more feet away according to NBA.com's tracking stats.

Wagner still had at least 15 points in all but Games 5 and 7. He scored 34 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Game 4 win. He had 26 in Game 6. It is not that Wagner cannot play well in big games and big moments.

But Wagner's struggles throughout the regular season followed him into the playoffs. He was still excellent at driving to the basket and finishing around the rim (Game 5 layup decisions aside), but he was such a negative shooter that the Cleveland Cavaliers played him like a non-shooter.

That is the part that cannot happen. Wagner has to make enough shots to keep defenses honest. Considering that he made 35.4 and 36.1 percent from three in his first two years, this season feels like it was a blip.

Wagner improved every part of his game and had a career season…except for his shooting.

Wagner enters his offseason knowing he needs some redemption. The Magic will not waver in their support and belief in Wagner (contract negotiations aside). But Wagner took a ding in his reputation this postseason. A strong Olympic run with Germany followed by a bounceback season (where he averages 20 points per game) would go a long way.

The playoffs create pressure and the pressure is on Wagner to bounce back.