3 reasons the Orlando Magic lost their Playoff series

The Orlando Magic fell short in Game 7 against the Cleveland Cavaliers. As the team parts ways for the season, they have to begin understanding why they lost and how they must fix it.
The Orlando Magic were not far from winning their first round playoff series. But what they struggled with and why they lost the series matters as they continue to build.
The Orlando Magic were not far from winning their first round playoff series. But what they struggled with and why they lost the series matters as they continue to build. / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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1. Turnovers & Experience

The Orlando Magic were one of the youngest teams in this year's Playoffs. Nobody wanted to use it as an excuse -- Joe Ingles specifically said after Game 5 that he was tired of the young label and excuse that could be used for this team.

But, it was also pretty clear how inexperience and youth played a factor in the Magic's defeat. They did not quite know how to go for the kill, especially on the road.

In a tension-filled Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse with momentum on their side after wins in Games 3 and 4 to tie the series, the Magic never were able to turn the tide fully in their favor. They let the crowd get back into the game then and power the Cavs to a win.

The same happened in Game 7. With a group of fans making their voices heard and up 18, the Magic let the Cavs go on a 12-4 run to end the second quarter and build momentum to their third-quarter run. That again got the Cavs fans into the game and made them a factor.

Orlando was able to respond to these missteps at home. But needing a win on the road, it killed them that they could not extend leads. There was a stretch in the third quarter of Game 1 where both teams failed to score for three minutes after the Magic fought to get within five points.

In Game 7, Orlando and Cleveland went 1.5 minutes without scoring and the Magic holding an eight-point lead. This was an opportunity to extend the lead that the team gave up. And in such a defensive battle, the game literally hung in the balance in these moments.

Orlando clearly needed the points. And extending the lead from eight to even 12 instead of heading to the second quarter up six matters.

The Magic were inefficient offensively and could not put their thumb on something and exploit it endlessly. The Cavs sat and waited for the Magic to cool off and miss shots. That is what finally happened in the third quarter.

That gets to all the problems we have talked about previously in this post. And so many of those problems started with turnovers.

The Magic entered the postseason as the team that turned the ball over the most among teams that reached the Playoffs -- 26th in the league at a 15.0 percent turnover rate. In the Playoffs, Orlando turned it over at a 15.1 percent turnover rate. The Cavs scored 14.9 points off turnovers per game (the Magic gave up 16.4 in the regular season).

That sounds like an improvement. But in a series of such narrow margins, treasuring those possessions was critical. And the Magic were not able to convert the turnovers they forced at the same rate.

In fact, the team that won points off turnovers went 6-1 in the series. That included the Cavs outscoring the Magic 17-8 on points off turnovers in Game 5 and 17-10 in Game 7 as they increased their pace and determination to get down the court quickly.

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Orlando gave away a lot of possessions and opportunities to take control in this series. And they have to hope the experience of playing in the Playoffs will help them understand to treasure the ball more.