LAS VEGAS – It was not long on Sunday night for Memphis Grizzlies rookie Jaren Jackson Jr. to realize it was going to be a long night – the operative word was long – while facing Orlando The great magic duo of Jonathan Isaac and Mohamed Bamba.
When Jackson Jr. drove down the lane in the first quarter, he was understandably surprised by what he found. Bamba, who has the longest span ever recorded in the NBA, ran forward from the bottom left line, while Isaac's 6-foot-11 left his man on the right wing to cut the penetration. Both Magic players got up simultaneously, creating a wall of arms and bodies to make it impossible for Jackson Jr. to see the hoop or another teammate. There was more confusion when Bamba hit the ball with his left hand and Isaac tilted it with his right. Ultimately, the statists determined that the play was a loss rather than a blocked shot because of how Jackson threw the ball with a feeling of desperation.
`Nahhhh, it was not happening; It just was not happening, "Bamba said of Jackson Jr.'s failed attempt." I would say (Sunday's defensive performance) will change many opinions about what we can do. Jaren is a very talented player and he is a great two-way player, but my focus tonight was to dominate & # 39; & # 39;
That isolated match between Bamba / Isaac and Jackson Jr. was emblematic of the domination that came in the game. The expansive wingspan of Isaac and Bamba played an important role in the Magic by stifling Jackson Jr. all night and completely smothering Memphis in an 86-56 victory for the Magic at the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League.
How dominant was the performance? Isaac had 12 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and two steals, and the Magic had a plus-28 on the scoreboard in its 24 minutes of action. Bamba, the No. 6 pick in the NBA Draft last month, contributed 11 points, five rebounds, a block and a corner triple and his plus-minus ratio was over-15 in 15 minutes. Jackson Jr., meanwhile, had problems on a shooting night of one of nine for five points. Fittingly, Memphis (1-1) was a minus-25 in its 22 minutes.
“ Jaren is a strong kid, he's going to be a great player and I was working all night to stay in front of him, but we both got together to make a couple of plays and we managed to do it, "said Isaac about his association with Bamba.
For the game, Orlando kept Memphis with a 26.2 percent shot from the floor and a 22.2 percent point-of-goal precision. The Magic made life miserable for a Grizzlies team playing their game. fifth game in eight nights, causing 18 turnovers too.
Next, Bamba said that although this is only the Summer League, the basketball world is testing what the Magic defense can become with him and Isaac patrolling The painting.
"The potential between Jon and I is unreal," said Bamba. "In the summer league, we are beginning to unite that potential in production with the little things we do. I think we got three violations of 24 seconds in the re Loj shot and … that was all because of the length. Jonathan comes from the weak side to block shots is huge. Our presence is everything, to be honest. "
Bamba will have no argument from Jackson Jr., who had eight 3-pointers and 29 points in his scintillating professional debut last week. June said the Magic will be able to foil the enemies this season with the length they have inside.
`It's long, they're good defenders and they got me that (double competition at the beginning of the game) & # 39; & # 39; said Jackson Jr. “ It's crazy: they are great players, dynamic and long with the length that God gave them, makes it difficult to penetrate and read & # 39; & # 39 ;.
Byron Mullens and Troy Caupain, products of the Magic & # 39; s G League team in Lakeland, scored 11 points and 10 points respectively from the bench, Wes Iwundu contributed 10 points, largely by making all eight free throws.
Tonight , the Orlando defense stole the show, the magical technical assistant Pat Delany, member of the Steve Clifford's new technical team in Orlando challenged his team before the game and he certainly responded.
“ (Memphis) had played a lot of games in Utah and we knew we had our hands full, but Jonathan's individual talent made it difficult, "said Delany." It was a total team effort to keep that team to 26 percent from the field and 22 percent from 3. And I said to Mo: `No matter how many minutes you play 'because every time he stepped on the floor tonight it was an absolute game change at both ends & # 39; & # 39;
Isaac also caught Delany's attention because he played a night of battles and still looked like the best player on the court for most of the game. Isaac made just four of 11 shots, but his dribble in the right elbow of the lane in the third quarter showed the offensive progress he made after a summer of work.
"It was just a matter of me playing hard and I think my engine is getting better," Isaac said. "I was getting shots that I liked, but they just were not falling in love with me, I kept my head in the game and I contributed in other ways. "
Bamba contributed a triple to catch and shoot in the first half and proceeded to do most of his damage in a third 27-18 quarter for Magic. He scored eight points just after halftime converting four dunks. The best highlight of Bamba came when he caught a balloon pass with his back to the basket and finished the reverse dunk with authority.
Afterwards, he admitted that he played this game with a bit of advantage after falling to No. 6 in the NBA Draft: two places behind Jackson Jr. in No. 4.
"As for Being the best player in the class, there is definitely a lot of work to be done & # 39; & # 39; said. "I really think the motivation is internal, but there are a lot of things that happen externally and it's hard not to take that as motivation." Draymond Green is a guy who remembers the names that were selected before him, if I can take that to my game and have half the intensity I had defensively and offensively, I think I'll be a player to remember in this league. "# 19659002] Isacc feels that ultimately, he and Bamba will form the long shot type and one-two that will be quite memorable in the NBA.They have played two Summer League games together and believe that their chemistry and confidence will continue to increase as they play together.
"To tell you the truth, I do not think We are not even scratching the surface, "said Isaac, 20." In terms of where Mo will be in a year or two and where I will be in one or two years, mentally and in the game, and then you throw me (Aaron Gordon) and the guys that We have, I think we will be a defensive nightmare for many teams & # 39; & # 39;
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