When the Orlando Magic played the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night, they had the chance to make it seven games in a row. After falling behind by 13 points late in the fourth quarter, the Magic rallied and even took the lead with only a few seconds left thanks to two clutch baskets by Markelle Fultz. But the Magic’s inexperience became apparent, especially for Paolo Banchero.

With just 1.1 seconds left in the contest, Banchero fouled Dejounte Murray, the game’s original foe. Murray then completed both of his free throw attempts to restore the Hawks’ lead. Shortly later, the 20-year-old Magic rookie, who still had a chance to win, took a rhythmic dribble to his left before launching a potential game-winning shot, squandering crucial time and ensuring the Magic’s loss.

Markelle Fultz

Nevertheless, Paolo Banchero was pushed to keep his head up by Markelle Fultz in his post-game interview despite his last-second mistakes. Simply keep his head up. He was undoubtedly annoyed by that foul, that shot, and several other plays throughout the game, and I know it. But the season is quite long. He is a rookie playing quite well and is very critical of himself.

And I understand how it feels to think that the odds are against you or that you could have done something to make things better. But once more, it wasn’t simply those plays that caused us to lose the game, according to Fultz, as quoted by Khobi Price.

Fultz himself has faced a lot of hardship during the course of his career. Fultz, who was selected first overall five years ago, drastically underperformed while playing for the Philadelphia 76ers. But now that he’s settled in, he seems to be well on his way to becoming a reliable starting point guard for years to come—possibly even more so.

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Since getting down on oneself after one poor performance is the worst thing Paolo Banchero could do, Markelle Fultz is aware of this. The recent improvements in Banchero and the Magic’s play shouldn’t be undone by one poor sequence.

“He’s playing hard and maintaining his composure in an unbelievable way. He can do one thing, which is to hold his head high and prepare for the next one. Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s alright. We’ve got his back, said Fultz.

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