Crucial lesson Paolo Banchero must learn from first playoff experience with Magic

Perfect postseason performances are almost impossible to put together, especially as a 21-year-old, and this will be a learning experience for Banchero. 
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Seven
Orlando Magic v Cleveland Cavaliers - Game Seven / Jason Miller/GettyImages

Paolo Banchero is the face of the Orlando Magic's franchise. He is a superstar in the making and one of the young players primed to take over the top of the NBA eventually. There is no denying that. 

In just his second NBA season, Banchero already made the All-Star team and led his young squad to the playoffs as the team's primary scorer and playmaker. In the postseason, he elevated his scoring to another level. Over seven games, Banchero scored 30 or more points three times. His three-point shot also looked much improved, as he shot 40 percent from long range. 

Banchero rose to the challenge and elevated his scoring game when the Magic struggled offensively. He showed his true potential. And yet, at the same time, his playoff showing is not perfect. Perfect postseason performances are almost impossible to put together, especially as a 21-year-old, and this will be a learning experience for Banchero. 

Banchero must learn this crucial lesson from his first playoff run

Something Banchero and his teammates will have to get used to from now on is that the pace of the game changes in the playoffs. Most of the time, the offense slows down while the defense picks up. 

This means that pretty much every offensive decision has to be on point and executed almost perfectly. Banchero did not always do that well. The Magic's lack of a table-setter and true starting point guard made Banchero the main playmaker, and he struggled to take care of the ball. 

Over the Magic's seven playoff games, he averaged 4 assists per game and 4.6 turnovers. That was the highest average of turnovers per game among all players in the playoffs and a significant increase from his regular numbers.

In the regular season, Banchero averaged 5.4 assists and 3.1 turnovers per game. While that is not a terrible number for a second-year player, he ranked 19th among all NBA starters in turnovers per game. We should not forget, however, that he has the ball in his hands a lot, and that just brings the occasional turnover with it. Luka Doncic, for comparison, ranked third with 4 turnovers per game, and he is still widely regarded as one of the best offensive players in the league

Still, the playoffs are a different beast. If your star player averages more turnovers than assists, it is difficult to win at the highest level. Neither of the two teams left in the finals have that problem. Just elevating your scoring is not enough for a player of Banchero's caliber in the playoffs. He needs to take his entire game to the next level. 

However, that is easier said than done for a young player who had never been to the playoffs before. In Game 1, Banchero had nine turnovers, clearly struggling to take care of the ball when he entered the bigger stage for the first time. Limiting his turnovers is something he will need to work on for future playoff runs and that is totally fine. 

This year was a great learning opportunity and we should all expect Banchero to improve in this area. In just his first playoff run he already elevated his scoring, so why shouldn't he be able to fix this as well? After all, no one's game is complete at such a young age, and now he has experienced first-hand how the offense slows down and the defense picks up. 

The Magic still have plenty of time to win in the playoffs and go on deeper runs. This year was not about that. It was about learning and gathering experience. If Banchero learns his lesson about offensive execution and the pace of the game, Orlando will be well set up for some postseason success sooner rather than later.