Paolo Banchero quickly crossed the “rookie wall”.

I just heard that. Everyone who gave me advice said, “Alan, get ready for the wall, you’re going to face it.” We just had to prepare for it. »

At least that’s what we can say Paolo Banchero When he came to the NBA, he knew where he was stepping. But these various caveats unfortunately didn’t stop the last Draft’s No. 1 pick from experiencing the infamous typical teenage lethargy known as “the wall again” a month and a half after his league debut.

I think I hit it somehow [le rookie wall, ndlr] and cross it “, he also judges. ” It was almost the beginning of the new year. I felt tired of my body and mind. I had difficult matches and complex evenings on set, I didn’t feel explosive [qu’à l’accoutumée]. »

The first hurdle was passed with flying colors

Indeed, Paolo Banchero clearly defined the moment when he faced the first difficulties of the season Magical. He went from an average of 22.6 and 47% shooting between October and November to an average of 18.9 and 39% shooting in December. Especially with a three-game stretch between Christmas and New Years averaging just 13.3 points and 29% shooting.

But insideOrlando He bounced back in January, averaging 20.5 points and 45%. No doubt because of the way he approaches every meeting.

I just try to take match after match “, explains about it. ” You will get bad ones because you can’t get 25 points every time. So when you’re sleepless or have a tough team meeting, you need to be able to keep going. And that’s what I’m trying to do. »

One particularly impressive aspect of Paolo Banchero is his ability to score points regardless of his form or opponent. In 41 games, he had just two under 10 points, despite having a good ten games under 40% shooting success.

The key to this consistency in goals? Amazing build for a player of his age (20 years) (2m08 and 113kg), which allows him to easily pass through the paint (almost 10 situations per game, attacking the circle) and also draw fouls (about 8 per game free throw).

This is a good way to see the ball drop in and find some rhythm “, he says, about his transitions on the line.” Defenders collect fouls, so they have to defend against you differently. I don’t necessarily focus on looking for the foul, but rather aggressively going to the circle and wanting it to result in a basket or a foul. »

His teammates are under a spell

Admittedly inexperienced at the highest level, but already very mature and ambitious, Paolo Banchero logically did not take long to gain the unanimous support of the Magic staff.

He is not a classic teenager “, believes Gary Harris, who rubbed shoulders with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray in Denver.” He’s not normal at all, he’s hungry, he wants to be big, he’s willing to learn and he wants to train. He’s figuring things out quickly and he’s only 20, so it’s a lot for him. But halfway through the season, I’ve never seen anyone come into the league like him. The way he focuses, the mature… He’s already special, really special. »

He understands basketball, it’s that simple “, adds Wendell Carter Jr., one of his privileged partners in the Florida racket. ” When he’s aggressive, we do our best and he understands that. He realizes that he has a lot on his shoulders as the #1 challenger, but he is so calm and composed on the ground… »

Paolo Banchero, the 2023 Rookie of the Year favorite and ultimately not far from a Salt Lake City All-Star selection with 20.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists, is on track to succeed anyway. He became the 51st rookie in history to score at least 20 points in every game.

Shaquille O’Neal in 1992/93 would have been unheard of for an Orlando player. That’s it!

Paolo Banchero Percent It bounces
The season Team GM Minimum Shots 3 points LF Turn off Def Early p.d party Int bp CT Points
2022-23 ENT 43 34 43.1 30.8 76.3 1.1 5.3 6.4 3.7 2.4 1.0 2.8 0.5 20.5
General 43 34 43.1 30.8 76.3 1.1 5.3 6.4 3.7 2.4 1.0 2.8 0.5 20.5

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