It’s not uncommon in the NBA for a team to have young players fresh out of college or from the G League. That’s where Orlando Magic and the Golden State Warriors are similar – youth – but the difference is that the away team on Thursday comes off the bench.

And these young players for the Golden State are flanked by the likes of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, all of whom have won four NBA championships.

It’s not hard to see that Magic has been in more and more trouble for nine games this season.

Their youngest player, top pick Paolo Banchero, is their main weapon as he came on with an average of 21.8 points per game.

Banchero posted a big loss at the end of Thursday’s game with a one-point lead, but Magic (2-7) stopped at last possession to lead to anxiety at Amway Center 130-129.

The Magic’s recent inability to shut down games, which lacks such a big throat game, is linked to their health issues (without Markelle Fultz or Cole Anthony, for example).

However, Jalen Suggs helped them overcome it with his best game of the season (26 points, 9 assists).

“If we have healthy bodies, we can make our people see and see what works and what doesn’t,” said Magic coach Jamahl Mosley before the tip. “Otherwise, if we don’t have healthy bodies, it’s just another human in the same fold.”

The starting five Warriors have experience while their young players Jordan Poole (season four), Moses Moody (season two) and James Wiseman (third) support the cast as they come off the bench.

When Mosley turns to his reserves, he has trouble keeping them in the lead, most notably with a double-digit lead in the second half to Oklahoma City on Tuesday.

“We have some young guys on our team who are going through this stage of development,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before Zink. “Every person is very different and as a coach it is important to get to know that person and understand how they will react and learn to communicate with that player.”

This narrative changed for the better for Orlando on Thursday.

The Warriors (3-6) still have problems of their own. They have lost the fourth game in a row without having the same defense they had a year ago when they were the elite in this category.

They have expectations that they will at least fight back, if not repeat. Magic, who only won 22 games last season where they landed in the draft lottery to win the Banchero, aren’t under the same pressure.

They have time on their side.


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