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HOME BOUND: Magic fall to Atlanta, 108-98; Return to Amway Center seeking to bounce back

Jae Fortune

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Photo Credit: Orlando Magic

COLE WORLD

After missing the regular season opener with an undisclosed illness, Cole Anthony has returned with a vengeance.

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Anthony exploded from the bench, leading the Magic with 25 points on 8-for-12 shooting, including 4 of 5 from three. Unfortunately, the rest of the Magic’s rotation couldn’t match the vibe. Collectively, Orlando’s deep shooters produced a 4-for-29 performance, on a tough Friday night in Atlanta.

“Our energy kind of faded as we got to the fourth quarter. They started picking us apart, taking advantage of that, and that’s how they were able to get so many open looks.”

PRAYERS UP FOR SUGGS

Sadly, starting guard Jalen Suggs suffered a sprained right ankle during the third quarter of the game, ending his night. While his fifteen minutes of playing time was quiet offensively, Suggs sent that time locking up Atlanta star guard Trey Young in the first half.

Postgame, Head Coach Jamahl Mosley offered support, and a word of encouragement for his second-year standout:

“My heart goes out to the kid. He’s working and continuing to battle no matter what happens..

Continued to put the work in despite injuries. [He’s] a resilient, tough kid. He’s going to continue to bounce back.”

Wishing J-SUGGS a speedy recovery, and return.

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AIR PAOLO

Unsurprising absolutely no one, Paolo Banchero notched his first NBA double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Another historic night for the first overall pick, as he surpasses Lebron James for most points in a two-game NBA career debut.

But game aside, Friday night was also a reunion for Paolo and the Hawks’ Dejounte Murray, who became acquainted with each other back during the Summer.


HOME, SWEET HOME

Seeking their first win since preseason, a merciful end to an sneakily difficult road trip may bode well for our Magic.

Cole, Banchero and the Orlando Magic return home for an opening night match-up with the defending, Eastern Conference champion, Boston Celtics at Amway Center on Saturday.

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Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic Linked to Career 38.5 3PT Shooter Player

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Malik Beasley

The Orlando Magic are one of the teams expected to pursue Malik Beasley once he hits the free agency market this July.

The Magic, who have already been linked to several incoming free agents with respectable shooting acumen, are reportedly among the teams showing some level of interest in Beasley.

Other teams linked to the sweet-shooting veterans are the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors.

“Houston has identified floor spacing and shooting as an area of need this offseason privately and publicly and have an interest in veteran sharpshooter Malik Beasley,” a source close to the situation told the New York Times.

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Beasley started 77 games for the Milwaukee Bucks this past season, converting 41.3 percent of his shots from 3-point distance. He’s a career 38.5 percent three-point shooter.

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Orlando Magic

Magic Have Interest in Sweet-Shooting Point Guard

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D'Angelo Russell

The Orlando Magic has reportedly shown interest in potential free agent guard D’Angelo Russell, the Athletic reported on Wednesday, May 21.

Russell, who can opt out of his $18.7 million player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, is expected to draw interest from teams looking to shore up their shooting in their backcourt.

The 28-year-old point guard averaged 18.0 points, 3.1 rebounds and 6.3 assists in 32.7 minutes per game while shooting 45.6 FG% and 41.5 3PT% during the 2023-24 season.

His numbers dipped in the playoffs as he averaged 14.2 points on 38.4 FG% and 31.8 3PT% in the five-game series with the Denver Nuggets.

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The Magic direly need some reliable shooting in their lineup for next season after shooting 35.2% from deep in the regular-season.

Aside from Russell, the Magic are also rumored as a potential destination for Golden State Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson.

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Orlando Magic Linked to Big-Time Scorer in Free Agency

According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing the service of NBA All-Star Paul George.

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Paul George

The offseason officially started for the Orlando Magic seconds after the final buzzer of their 94-106 Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. According to reputable NBA insider Ramona Shelburne, the Magic are one of the teams eyeing incoming free agent Paul George of the Los Angeles Clippers.

“There’s two teams that are paying very close attention to Paul George: the Orlando Magic and the Philadelphia 76ers, because both of them have the money to throw at him and need a wing just like him, a veteran guy,” Shelburne said on “the Brian Windhorst & the Hoops Collective” podcast on May 1.

Sportrac projected the Magic to have a practical cap space of $19 million, but their maximum possible cap space could balloon to as high as $58 million if they forego their team options on Jonathan Isaac, Joe Ingles, and Moritz Wagner.

Despite turning 34 once the free agency window opens, George is expected to be a hot commodity on the market because of his reputation as a flat-out scorer and above-average wing defender. He’ll be looking for his final max-level deal of at least $45 million per year before he enters the twilight years of his career.

George averaged 22.6 points on 47.1 FG%, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game during the regular season with the Clippers. His scoring production dipped a bit during the six-game series against the Mavericks, putting up 19.5 points on 41.1 FG% and 36.7 3PT%.

NBA experts expect the Magic to bring over either a legitimate shooter or a scorer who will help address the lack of shooting on their roster. George, a career 38.5 3PT% shooter, would be a solid addition to a resurging team like the Magic.

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