NBA Summer League 2022: Number 1 pick Paolo Banchero outduels Jabari Smith Jr
Paolo Banchero shined as NBA’s Orlando Magic beat the Houston Rockets in their first summer league.
Paolo Banchero had 17 points and six assists as his new team, Orlando Magic, beat the Houston Rockets. The headliners of this game were Magic’s Paolo Banchero and Rocket’s Jabari Smith Jr, two top-three prospects from the 2022 NBA Draft. Interestingly before Banchero went first overall to the Magic and Smith went third to the Rockets, Jabari was mocked to go first by many while Paolo was expected to go third. Banchero started hot right out of the gate in his first game as a Magic player. The Big-Man scored or assisted 14 of the Magic’s first 17 points without missing a single shot.
While the Big-Man slowed down a bit, he still finished the game with an impressive 17 points and a 6-assist debut game. As for Smith, he had a somewhat quiet night (10 points, seven rebounds, three assists) but had some nice drives to the basket and played solid team defence, matching up occasionally with Banchero.
Elsewhere in the NBA Summer League, the 76ers and the Thunder played a back-and-forth game that was only decided in the contest’s final seconds. Isaiah Joe was the hero for the 76ers, as he drained the game-deciding three with fewer than 30 seconds left on the clock, though he did give Oklahoma City one last chance to make a heroic shot.
Tre Mann missed what would have been the game-winning 3, and Philadelphia escaped with the victory. The Thunder, without Chet Holmgren today, lost their first summer league game after winning their previous two games. Detroit Pistons Rookie Jaden Ivey made a strong impression in his first game with the team as he had 20 points, six rebounds, and six assists as the Pistons won their opening summer league against the Portland Trail Blazers in Las Vegas.