Paolo Banchero shines in his NBA Summer League debut against Rockets

2022-07-08 05:05
Credit: AFP - Scanpix
Credit AFP - Scanpix

The 2022 NBA Draft's No. 1 overall pick Paolo Banchero made his NBA Summer League debut last night.

The Italian-American forward helped his Orlando Magic team to a 91-77 win against the Houston Rockets. Banchero scored 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting, grabbed 4 rebounds, and dished out 6 assists, while his plus-minus metric was the highest on the team.

The no. 3 overall pick from the draft, Jabari Smith, also made his debut for the Rockets. He scored 10 points on 4-for-10 shooting, grabbed 7 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists.

Free throws this season

Points made: 15,5
Accuracy: 78,7%
Place in standings: 28
Record max: 26
Record min: 6
Most made FTs: Cole Anthony

Being of a similar position, the two players often matched up against one another during the game. Did he want to prove why he was selected as the first man in the draft? "Yeah, for sure," Banchero said to ESPN.

"I've always had a chip on my shoulder but that wasn't my mindset," the forward continued. "I wanted to come out and get the win, get used to playing with the guys, it's our first Summer League game."

Banchero made 6 assists during his debut. Although not successful at first, his mid-air pass in the third quarter made highlights almost immediately.

"I felt comfortable, you know, just to get my body to catch up. It's been a while since I last played," Banchero explained. "I'm battling some soreness right now but it was fun, I felt really good out there."

"It's always been a big part of my game, just getting my guys the ball," he talked about passing the ball. "We have a bunch of great players on the team, they make great cuts, and set great screens, so I have to give them the ball."

Next in the 2022 Las Vegas Summer League, the Orland Magic will match up against the Sacramento Kings and the no. 4 overall pick Keegan Murray on Saturday.

Full Paolo Banchero highlights:

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