Paolo Banchero matches LeBron James’ and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s feats on rookie debut | NBA News
The Orlando Magic may have lost a very tough game to the Detroit Pistons last night but most fans of the franchise were still smiling Thursday morning thanks to Paolo Banchero.
1 pick in this year’s NBA Draft had a historically significant performance in a 113-109 loss, becoming the first rookie since LeBron James to score at least 25 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. created on his NBA debut.
He dropped 27 points, the most ever by a Magic rookie on his debut, picked up 9 rebounds and made 5 assists overall, scoring 11/18 points from the field at Motor. City. He also impressed on defense, scoring a few blocks in a performance that built on the Summer League and strong pre-season for the former Duke Blue Devils.
The 19-year-old showcased his diverse skill set throughout the night but underlined his statement performance with a powerful jump during the transition over Cory Joseph, which will be a memorable moment since His debut will be on shows in the years to come, if Banchero lives up to his firm promise.
Another indicator of how important this opening game is is the fact that only two previous No 1 picks have had 25-5-5 or better records since 1969, LeBron and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – who James is set to surpass the all-time NBA points record end of this season.
“It means a lot, I guess,” Banchero said after the game. “Obviously, I wanted to win. But I just wanted to play my best, play for the team, and it happened, so it was a stroke of luck.
“A moment where you’ve worked your whole life for me, trying to get to this moment right here. It’s definitely a milestone. I’m proud of myself for getting here. But here it is. It’s the beginning. It’s not the end. You just have to come in and prepare, get ready and play hard, play hard.”
Banchero didn’t hesitate in his NBA intro, scoring Orlando’s first 4 and finishing the first inning 3 to 3 on the field with 7 points. He was even better in the fourth quarter as Orlando tried to bounce back, going 5 to 8 with 13 points, including the big poster about Joseph.
The highlight of that inning was more than Magic’s superstar rookies Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard in their entire debuts, with them all scoring a dozen points in the match. the first fight in his career.
“It was crazy,” Banchero said. “I feel like I left a lot of points on the board.
“Thanks to my teammates for finding me. It’s great to see the ball come in so early, get the bucket easily around the rim. That’s how I try to play, inside out. Trying to get the easy stuff. around the basket and expand out and do more things throughout the game.”
Banchero has certainly done that and has scored the most points by picking No. 1 since Allen Iverson scored 30 points on his debut in 1996. The names he is being mentioned in this article prove it. demonstrate the extraordinary talent that Magic has in their hands.
“He handled himself really well,” said teammate Jalen Suggs, who was picked last year’s fifth and scored 21 points. “He hit his spot. He ran in transition. He was physical. He got on the board. He played right when it was there.
“Paolo did a great job tonight. We will continue to be with him, we will continue to grow and moments like this are very important to us. We have to stay in the game. this to grow and he showed us a lot tonight.”
Watch Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks open their season against the 76ers in Philadelphia, followed by Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers doing the same against the Lakers in Los Angeles, live on Sky Sports Arena, late Thursday from 12:30 a.m.