First pick from the Draft Paolo Banchero is averaging numbers that overcome all the previous expectations towards his arrival to the league. Orlando Magic has been for many years the worst team in the NBA and clear candidates to be on the losing track since the beginning.
With the addition of the young power forward from Duke, the future project now finally has a solid foundation to build from and a possible face for the next coming years.
Banchero is a pure scorer and has the ability to find the hoop with no fear of contact with the defenders. He has formed the best partnership with center Wendell Carter Jr in order to create advantages through pick & roll.
In his first 29 games, he is averaging 21.1 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists. He also attempts four triples per game with a 31.5% of accuracy. This is a stat to stand out towards the next coming years where he can shine.
The game against the Houston Rockets was the 20th game where he scored 20 or more points with only 26 games played so far at that point, which makes him to be the third one to pull this off only after Ziom Williamson and Michael Jordan. Scoring precocity.
The young players bring the magic to Orlando:
Magic currently have a 13-22 record, but they have won eight out of their last nine games, as they surprised the Boston Celtics. This contrasts with their 22-60 record from last season.
Some players such as Bol Bol (12.1 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.6 blocks), Franz Wagner (19.7 points, 4 rebounds and 3.4 assists) or Wendell Carter (16 points and 8.4 rebounds) top off this young and promising squad.
Paolo Banchero is the main candidate to win the Rookie of the Year Award, as he holds scoring numbers that very few rookies have in the league. Orlando have made the right choice with this pick, which was not easy in a very talented Draft and with the recent shadow of having picked Jalen Suggs, who did not perform as expected.
Only time will set up the ceiling of Banchero and the Magic. Meanwhile, we can keep enjoying of this franchise in their attempt to create a winning culture based on their young players.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.
Main image: @OrlandoMagic.