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"Banchero justified Orlando stunningly taking him No.  1 over Jabari Smith" - Skip Bayless praises Paolo Banchero for dominating Jabari Smith in Summer League match-up

Paolo Banchero in action at the 2022 Summer League
Paolo Banchero in action at the 2022 Summer League
Siddhant Gupta

The 2022 Las Vegas Summer League kicked off with a star-studded rookie battle between Paolo Banchero of the Orlando Magic and Jabari Smith Jr of the Houston Rockets. Analyst Skip Bayless kept a close eye on the game and offered his input on how things went down.

With audiences looking forward to this matchup since the draft, the two ferociously went at each other. Banchero and the Orlando Magic came out on top 91-77.

The No.1 pick helped the Magic secure a dominant victory in their opening game of the Summer League. Reacting to the showdown between Paolo Banchero and Jabari Smith, Skip Bayless tweeted:

It was just the first Summer League game, but Banchero justified Orlando stunningly taking him No. 1 over Jabari Smith. He was in attack mode from the start, he asked to guard Jabari and did an excellent job on him. The threes, the passes ... early edge, Paulo.

Notching 17 points, four rebounds and six assists, the Duke product looked composed and confident as he took over the game.

"It was just the first Summer League game, but Banchero justified Orlando stunningly taking him No. 1 over Jabari Smith. He was in attack mode from the start, he asked to guard Jabari and did an excellent job on him. The threes, the passes ... early edge, Paulo."

Although Smith had a solid outing in his own right, Banchero looked like the dominating presence on the floor.

Paolo Banchero’s NBA Summer League debut! 17 Points6 Assists 4 Rebounds 5/12 Shooting2/3 Threes 25 Minutes https://t.co/18RNRGmDHq

Paolo Banchero displays his potential in Summer League

Paolo Banchero warms up before the game
Paolo Banchero warms up before the game

Banchero shone in his Summer League debut with a stellar performance against the Rockets. He backed up the hype surrounding him after being drafted No. 1.

Starting off with his shooting from beyond the arc and gradually working his way into the mid-post, Banchero played with great composure.

PAOLO BANCHERO IS FEELING IT EARLY 🔥Banchero is up to eight first quarter points on 3/3 shooting.🎥 @NBATV | @Pp_doesithttps://t.co/Zn2DhJrS68

Banchero's ability to pass the ball was also on full display. His vision to find shooters in open spots was noteworthy. He also constantly targeted Smith on defense.

It appears Paolo Banchero may have circled this one vs. Jabari Smith Jr. https://t.co/4igKqOeeiI

As far as negatives go, there are a few to be mentioned. Paulo Banchero's rebounding numbers were a little disappointing for a player of his build. Additionally, his motor and focus in the second half dropped when compared to the first.

But considering that the sample size is only one game, it is far too early to make any judgements on Banchero's potential.


Edited by Arnav Kholkar

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