Magic forward Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 overall pick of this year’s draft, is trying to adjust to the NBA’s extensive use of pick-and-rolls, writes Khobi Price of The Orlando Sentinel (subscriber link). As Price notes, only 64 of Banchero’s pick-and-roll possessions ended with him shooting in 39 games with Duke last season, a figure that is sure to rise as a rookie in 2022/23.
Banchero had mixed results as both a ball-handler and a roll man in his first preseason game, and he acknowledges the speed of the pro game will take some getting used to.
“In college, a lot of it was isolation, so that’s what I’m used to making a lot of my reads out of, pure isolation,” Banchero said. “I got to get used to making a lot more reads out of the pick-and-roll as the handler and the roller, and speeding that up. I felt like I made my reads a lot slower than usual.”
The 6’10” Banchero believes he’s already making progress after watching film and getting more practice reps, Price adds.
“Watching the film, I didn’t look sped up. I didn’t look like I was super uncomfortable. Knowing I can get to wherever I want to get to is really encouraging. Now I’ve got to make the right decision when I get there,” Banchero said as part of larger quote.
Here’s more on the Magic:
- Second-year forward Franz Wagner is expected to make his preseason debut against the Spurs on Thursday, Price writes for The Orlando Sentinel. The Magic are being cautious with their promising youngster after a busy offseason saw him help Germany to a bronze medal at EuroBasket, Price notes.
- Head coach Jamahl Mosley said Orlando plans to play “a bunch of (lineup) combinations throughout the preseason” in order to have everyone on the roster comfortable with each other (video link via Price). In a story for The Orlando Sentinel on the topic, Price explores six preseason lineups Mosley might deploy, including a jumbo combination featuring Banchero, Wagner, Wendell Carter Jr., Mohamed Bamba and one of Bol Bol, Chuma Okeke or Caleb Houstan.
- In his season preview for the Magic, John Hollinger of The Athletic writes that while Wagner and Banchero have All-Star potential and things might be better in the future, he believes Orlando will struggle in ’22/23 and finish with a 21-61 record, the worst in the East.