Paolo Banchero Hypes Up Magic Fans with 19 Points in Preseason vs. Mavericks

Erin WalshOctober 8, 2022

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - OCTOBER 03: Paolo Banchero #5 of the Orlando Magic brings the ball up court against the Memphis Grizzlies during a preseason game at FedExForum on October 03, 2022 in Memphis, Tennessee.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Justin Ford/Getty Images

Paolo Banchero is heating up as the NBA preseason rolls on.

After scoring just 17 combined points in the Orlando Magic's first two preseason games, the 2022 No. 1 pick looked much more comfortable—and like himself—in Friday's matchup against the Dallas Mavericks.

Banchero finished with 19 points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal on 6-of-13 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 shooting from deep in 21 minutes. He also made 5 of 6 free throws.

The 19-year-old had NBA Twitter hyped up following his performance, with some even suggesting he'll win the NBA's Rookie of the Year Award:

Orlando Magic @OrlandoMagic

hold that <br><br>17 points for <a href="https://twitter.com/Pp_doesit?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Pp_doesit</a> <a href="https://t.co/I1ebhM5dxi">pic.twitter.com/I1ebhM5dxi</a>

The Lando @TheLando__

Paolo Banchero getting comfortable LETS GO<br><br>He’s up to 17 points (6/9 FG) in 17 minutes, early in the 3rd quarter

Cristian @bandito_1914


Omar @gonzalez25_omar

Banchero winning ROTY…. I didn’t know he could shoot like that.

Magic On Top💫 @MagicOnTop

Banchero is going to be so mfn good

Dan Savage @Dan_Savage

Paolo Banchero continues to look more and more comfortable on the court. The <a href="https://twitter.com/OrlandoMagic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@OrlandoMagic</a> rookie is up to 17 points tonight.

The Tall Traveler @TallTraveler1

I like Banchero... he's gonna be so good

Dante Marchitelli @DanteMagic

Paolo Banchero with his best game of the preseason, 19 points midway through the 3rd! Most aggressive he’s been, just taking over for stretches!! <a href="https://t.co/OmTehKwagp">pic.twitter.com/OmTehKwagp</a>

WeltGawd  @WeltGawd

I suffered 7 years of Aaron Gordon for Paolo Banchero.<br><br>It was worth it!

Beyond the RK @beyondtheRK

Paolo looking strong against every matchup no matter which Maverick is thrown at him.<br><br>Polished footwork, post-moves, touch around the rim are examples of Banchero's scoring versatility as a brute force option and defacto post-up scoring creator for Orlando.


Banchero for ROTY

After Orlando's first preseason game, Banchero acknowledged he needed to work on some things, including getting more comfortable at the NBA level.

He certainly appears to be adjusting quickly, which is a good sign for the Magic, who will need him to be a difference-maker during the 2022-23 season and beyond.

The Magic have two more preseason games against the Memphis Grizzlies and Cleveland Cavaliers before opening the regular season Oct. 19 against the Detroit Pistons at Little Caesars Arena.