Magic’s Paolo Banchero first since LeBron with 25-5-5 in debut

DETROIT — Orlando Magic rookie Paolo Banchero amassed 27 issues, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in his NBA debut on Wednesday night time, a 113-109 loss to the Detroit Pistons, making him the first rookie with 25-5-5 in his debut since LeBron James in 2003.

“It means a lot, I guess,” Banchero mentioned after the sport. “Obviously, would have liked to win, but I just wanted to play hard, play for the team and that happened, so it’s a blessing.”

Banchero, the No. 1 select in the 2022 NBA draft, made an affect in this contest in an instant. He scored Orlando’s first 4 issues of the sport and completed the first quarter 3-for-3 on box objectives for seven issues. He used to be even higher in the fourth quarter as Orlando attempted to mount a comeback, going 5-for-8 for 13 issues, together with a ferocious one-handed dunk over Pistons guard Cory Joseph, who tried to attract a fee.

Overall, Banchero scored probably the most issues through a Magic participant in their first profession recreation in staff historical past, outscoring former gamers reminiscent of Penny Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal and Dwight Howard — all of whom scored 12 issues in their first profession recreation.

“It’s crazy,” Banchero mentioned. “I felt like I left a lot of points on the board.”

“Credit to my teammates for finding me. It’s always nice to see the ball get in that early, get easy buckets around the rim. That’s how I try to play, inside out. Try to get easy stuff around the basket and expand out and do more stuff throughout the game.”

Before boarding the flight from Orlando to Detroit, Banchero mentioned he attempted to mirror in the instant sooner than his first reliable NBA recreation not to permit himself to get stuck up throughout Wednesday’s motion. This matchup between the Pistons and Magic featured a selection of former best draft alternatives, together with Pistons guards Cade Cunningham, the 2021 No. 1 select, who completed with 18 issues and 10 assists, and Jaden Ivey, the 2022 No. 5 select, who scored 19 issues with 4 assists and 3 steals in his debut.

Orlando had 3 gamers age 21 or more youthful — Banchero, Jalen Suggs and Franz Wagner — rating 20 issues, the first staff in NBA historical past to take action in a season opener.

“We’re both super young, we’re both trying to find our way to the top of the league,” Cunningham mentioned concerning the Pistons and Magic. “This was a big game for us to set the tone as far as that matchup. We’re going to be seeing them a lot for years to come.”

However, Banchero, 19, used to be the sport’s main scorer, scoring probably the most issues through a No. 1 total select since Allen Iverson scored 30 issues in his debut in 1996.

“He handled himself very well,” Suggs mentioned. “He got to his spots. He ran in transition. He was physical. He boarded. He made the right play when it was there. Paolo did a fantastic job tonight. We’re going to continue to ride with him; we’re going to continue to grow and moments like this are important for us. We got to be in this to grow and he showed us a lot tonight.”

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