Paolo Banchero has to take the Orlando Magic's last shot in close games

The Orlando Magic's coaching staff have to find ways to get Paolo Banchero the ball in clutch situations and allow him to determine whether the Magic win or lose close games.

Sacramento Kings v Orlando Magic
Sacramento Kings v Orlando Magic / Rich Storry/GettyImages

It is his time.

Paolo Banchero has arrived and is one of the best players in the Eastern Conference this season.

Standing at 6-foot-10 and weighing in at 250 pounds, Banchero can take and make any shot on the floor. His skill set is unbelievable at his age because he can drive, shoot and pass at a high clip.

He has had a stellar second season and has grown into a true star, not just an All-Star debutante.

Like for most stars, the Magic live and die on the decisions he makes on the court. In close games, the Magic should live and die by his on-court decisions.

Plays late in games need to be drawn up for Banchero ultimately to make that play.

That is something everyone could have complained about in the loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. In the wild sequence with the magic trailing by one, Banchero did not take the last shot. He made the pass that ultimately led to Cole Anthony missing a three, but Banchero has the late-game gravitas to earn that decision.

Banchero finished with 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Saturday's game. But in the final five minutes of the game, Banchero had just two points on 1-for-4 shooting and two assists. He was still involved and getting touches. But he was not the one generating the offense.

And on this final play he got rid of the ball quickly after a double team as the Kings forced someone else to beat them.

That seems to be a sound strategy because Banchero has been excellent late in games all season long.

Banchero has shown on numerous occasions that he can make that shot. He is a clutch player.

The most recent last-second shot that connected was against the Detroit Pistons back in February.

With less than seven seconds remaining in that game, Banchero got the ball on an isolation play on the left side of the court. He crossed over in front of the defender and got to his spot, pump-faking Jalen Duren off his feet and drawing the foul before hitting the jumper with eight-tenths of a second remaining.

The Magic went on to win five of their next six games after that shot by Banchero. The team seemed to have a certain type of swagger.

It was not his first game-winner this year after he beat John Collins to the basket for a hoop at the end of their win over the Utah Jazz early in the season and after he beat the Chicago Bulls in a November win. These are the kinds of plays and shots that you expect from a star player.

They knew they had a guy whom they could give the ball to at the end of games and seal the deal. It was one of the moments Banchero will remember for a lifetime, and it felt like the beginning of many more moments to come.

Banchero is the kind of player that in the chaos of an end of the game brings calm and poise.

At this point, there should be no reason why Banchero is not taking those types of shots at the end of games when the game gets dicey. He is the player the team should turn to in these critical moments.

The team should rather him miss those shots than anyone else because the more of those types of shots he takes the more comfortable he will be in the future. They need to trust him to make the right play.

The play at the end of Saturday's game may have been the right one, but it is also clear how rattled and rushed the team felt with the ball out of Banchero's steady hands.

And late in games, Banchero has been a really steady hand.

Banchero is one of the league's best in clutch situations.

He is currently ranked 11th in clutch points in the entire league with 96 points in 32 games under clutch conditions -- a five-point game within the final five minutes. There are some certifiable clutch players like Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan, Damian Lillard, Nikola Jokic and, yes, De'Aaron Fox ahead of him on that standing.

Banchero is shooting 30 for 77 (39.0 percent) in those situations with eight assists against 12 turnovers. There are still areas Banchero can improve late in games. But he has proven himself able to rise to the moment.

And when the Magic make the Playoffs, they are going to run everything late through Banchero. It is up to him to make the right decision and the Magic will go as far as he can take them in those situations.

The Magic have long been willing to ride with Banchero's mistakes. And the end of games are when teams want the ball in the hands of their best player making decisions. Banchero has shown he will make the right call more often than not.

The end of games is about excecuting a play to put the best player in his favorite spot to make the best decision. That is what felt a bit off for the Magic on Saturday. Banchero got rid of the ball so quickly, it sped everything up from Orlando. Credit to Sacramento's defense for forcing that pass and taking him out of the play.

These are the opportunities to see just what type of player Banchero can be if not for any other reason. It is also an opportunity to judge how much more help he needs going into next year.

The Magic coaching staff have to exhaust every opportunity to get the ball to Banchero in clutch situations so he can begin to get comfortable and so that the coaching staff can get comfortable as well. Coach Jamahl Mosely has to create inbound sets that play to Paolo Banchero's strengths and not weaknesses.

There is no reason for Banchero to not get a shot off when there is more than 20 seconds left on the clock. Those are signs of not just a young team but a young coach.

Banchero may have made the right play at the end of the game. The Kings crashed on him and forced the ball out of his hands, sending the Magic into rotations.

Orlando ended up getting a good shot and two more good looks too. Perhaps the team should have reset itself after the miss to ensure it executed a good play with the clock ticking down. Maybe there was no longer any more time -- the Magic got two open threes and a missed layup in the end.

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But the Magic have to get the ball to their star player. Banchero is that star and ultimately the one who needs to decide games late.