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Paolo Banchero solidifies Rookie of the Year campaign as Magic prove they’re still the Celtics’ kryptonite

The Boston Celtics will be glad they don’t have to see the Orlando Magic again this season. Early on Monday night, the Magic ran away down the stretch to secure a 113-98 victory and move to 3-1 against the team with the best record in the league. No other team has as many wins against the Celtics this season, and the Magic are the first team to claim a season series against them. 

There are a few reasons for the Celtics’ lack of success against the Magic this season, including the fact that they’ve been shorthanded in every meeting; at least one starter has been out in all four games, and in three of the four contests the Celtics were missing multiple starters. 

Health is not everything, though, and another reason the Magic have proven to be the Celtics’ kryptonite this season is Paolo Banchero. The Rookie of the Year front-runner has put together some of his best performances against the Celtics, including a 31-point outing in the Magic’s win on Dec. 18, which is the second-highest-scoring game of his career. 

That trend continued on Monday, as Banchero went for 23 points and five rebounds on 7-of-13 from the floor. His full arsenal of offensive skills was on display in this one. He got off to a strong start by using his mobility to take Al Horford off the dribble; he used his size and physicality to work his way to the line for nine free throws; out in transition he showed off his athleticism; from behind the arc he hit shots both on the catch…

…and off the dribble. 

The outside shooting was perhaps the most notable aspect of Banchero’s performance. Not just because he went 3-of-5, but because it strengthened one of the more interesting stats you’ll find this season. Over the four games against the Celtics, Banchero is 14-of-25 from 3-point land (56 percent); against every other team, he is 40-of-144 (27.7 percent). Banchero has been a streaky shooter all season, and the Celtics to some extent have been unlucky that his best games have come against them. At the same time, it’s a credit to Banchero that he’s been ready to…


Source link : https://www.cbssports.com/nba/news/paolo-banchero-solidifies-rookie-of-the-year-campaign-as-magic-prove-theyre-still-the-celtics-kryptonite/

Author : Jack Maloney

Publish date : 2023-01-24 03:21:26

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2023-01-24

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