Orlando Magic’s Paolo Banchero overtook the Houston Rockets’ Jabri Smith Jr. Debut in the NBA Summer League

LAS VEGAS – Before his solo season at Duke, Paolo Banchero tattooed his left arm with the message:

“No pressure.”

Naturally, the No. 1 pick in last month’s NBA Draft said he wasn’t too worried about his first game in NBA uniforms, including the No. 3 overall pick in the NBA’s annual opening game, in Thursday night’s showdown when he was very excited. Junior at the showdown in Las Vegas at Jabri Smith.

“I got it,” Banchero said, beating the Houston Rockets 91-77 after Orlando Magic completed 17 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists in 25 minutes. “It simply came to our notice then.

“So I’m always under good pressure, I was able to handle it. And I must say that at the end of the day, it’s just basketball. When it comes to fighting, it’s like, ‘What if it’s just basketball?’

Thursday’s game may have been a futile performance in the summer, but it didn’t take long for Banchero to show off some of the skills that forced Orlando to move on to Smith’s top pick.

With a 6-foot-10, 250-pound forward, Banchero hoping to get ready to play in the NBA, he showed an excellent combination of scoring, passing and rebounding which made him one of his favorite players. Won the league’s Rookie of the Year award.

He hit two-three-pointers – one on a catch-and-shoot occasion on the wing and the other on a hard stepback at the top of Smith’s long-arm key. He also spent a lot of time playing his role for Orlando this season, originally serving as the team’s de facto point defender. As a result, he made many good passes with two quick lasers inside for lap opportunities.

Asked what he hopes to prove in Thursday’s match, Banchero said, “I can be a good person and win at the same time, there is no one who hurts the team.”

He said, “You know, I have the ball in my hand and I provide scores, help, rebounding for the team,” I think. “So just do it and then be good at defending. I think I did everything right, but I could have been much better. “

Smith, on the other hand, looked 19 years old two months ago. Offensively he had two great moments, including two Nifty drives to the left of the lane for Lap, one in each half and a nice catch-and-shoot 3-pointer on the wing.

Otherwise, he remained mostly silent. He finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and three assists in 31 minutes, as he became the latest non-defender to fall victim to the tempo of the summer league game, when the ball-dominated defenders took control of the game.

“Yeah, I had nerves in it,” Smith said. “It was so hard, you know what I’m saying? Find a different style of play, you know, the first NBA game. So it was fun, but I’m ready for the next match.”

There’s a lot to like about Smith’s game, including his tall, quick release on his jumping shot, which is almost impossible to compete with because of his long arms and 6-foot-10 frame. They also have defensively fast legs.

As the game progressed, Smith became more comfortable and more involved, as a result, he admitted after the game.

Smith went on to say that it was up to him to participate.

“I think I would have been more involved than I was,” he said. “Breaking the offensive glass from me, the offender is looking for another way to join the end. But it will help me learn crime, the system. But no, other than that, I think I’m beautiful. I’m busy, I just want to make some open shots and glasses and crash. “

Finally, Thursday night’s game was a Summer League debut for both players. However, everyone was happy to get their first NBA game under their belt.

“Yeah, you should be aware of that, but you can’t worry about that much,” Smith and Banchero said, looking at the face-to-face matchup. “You just go out and have fun and let others take care of you.”

Smith smiled and said: “It’s funny. I’d love it anyway.”

Leave a Comment