Paolo Banchero’s Orlando Magic debut more a feeling out

Paolo Banchero made sure the world knew he was there on the first play of his first preseason game.

Ja Morant took a handoff on a curl that took him deep into the teeth of the Magic’s defense. Wendell Carter met him and deflected a kick-out pass out of the paint. Banchero read it quickly, darting in for the steal and starting a fast break that ended with him making a layup over Dillon Brooks.

In that play was everything the Magic could imagine for their top overall pick.

He showed the deftness and awareness to be disruptive on the perimeter then the speed to get down the court and the size and strength to finish through contact.

When Orlando envisions their size causing problems for teams on both ends, this is exactly what they are thinking. This is exactly who the Magic expect Banchero to become.

Paolo Banchero showed some hints of the player he will become. But his Orlando Magic preseason debut was a mixed bag as he felt his way through his first game.

The moments like this were not plentiful in a 109-97 preseason loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. But they were not completely rare. It was part of the mixed bag of a first preseason game. One where the Magic saw some things to get excited about and plenty the team still needs to work on.

That goes for the Magic’s top pick too.


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