The NBA Summer League might not always be full of fireworks but all eyes were on it Thursday night as the Orlando Magic faced off against the Houston Rockets.
That’s because it was the first chance for NBA fans to see the number one draft pick Paolo Banchero on the floor.
There is a lot of speculation surrounding Banchero: will he be as big a deal as people hoped or will he be a bit of a bust?
Paolo Banchero in his debut:
+20 +/- pic.twitter.com/HsrMO3tZup
— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) July 8, 2022
In his first night on an NBA court, Banchero definitely showed his power.
The rookie put up 17 points, 6 assists, and 4 rebounds.
Thanks to Banchero, Orlando overtook the Rockets, 91-77.
He was quite magical indeed.
Banchero Gets Balling
The best news about Banchero’s first Summer League game was that he was a threat on both sides of the court.
He was able to get good looks and set up great shots for himself.
But he was also able to shut down the competition and swatted away the ball from multiple Rockets players, including Jabari Smith Jr, the number three pick in the draft.
Banchero certainly showed his skill and seemed comfortable and at home on the court but he actually wasn’t the most important part of the Magic’s lineup.
Caleb Houstan, the 32nd pick in the draft, scored a team-high 20 points and made 5 of 9 three-pointers throughout the night.
The three-point line seemed to be a very special spot for the Magic, as they had 33 attempts from beyond the arc (they made 14 of them).
Youthful, energetic, and committed to the game, the Magic looked tuned in on Thursday night.
Let’s see how they perform once the regular season begins.