At the age of 20, Paolo Banchero is currently off to a great start in his NBA career, on a personal level. Selected in the first position in the 2022 Draft, he is the favorite for the title of Rookie of the Year 2023, averaging 21.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 3.9 assists.
Together, the situation may not be very good, because the magic occupies 13th place in the Eastern Conference, but the former Duke resident’s individual performances alone serve to make him smile again, as his detractors have little to fault him for now that he has succeeded in his transition between the NCAA and the NBA.
” People have doubts, whether they watch the games or not, they already have a clear opinion [sur moi] “, he launched, in the columns of Yahoo! Game. ” But playing in college is different. You have to make sacrifices. I’m still the best player on the team, but I have to adapt and adapt my game to the team. We had three or four other professional players and Coach K wanted me to play a certain way. »
Some criticisms remain etched in his head…
Obviously very attentive to what can be said about him, for example Paolo Banchero did not appreciate the comments he read and heard about his defense.
” The most frustrating thing is what I keep hearing about my defense “, he also confirmed. ” People try to make me look weak on the defensive, which I’ve never been in my life. Of course, there are times when you fall asleep far from the ball, when you let a player pass behind you, but from there to attack me all game and expose me in this way? No no No. »
But it is not only Paolo Banchero’s alleged defensive qualities that have been cited by some observers as unsettling within theOrlando…
” People also talk about my potential, the level I can reach “, he added to this matter. ” It was also very frustrating for me, because the other guys in my Draft were my age. And, just because I’m more physically developed, my game is more mature, they say I can’t progress any further. So my potential will not be as high as players who are not as good, talented as me? It doesn’t make sense. »
Move forward so you don’t lose sight of your goals
After almost three months of competition, Paolo Banchero has now established himself as the best player of his vintage, ahead of Bennedict Mathurin, Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray. Complete offensively and relatively solid defensively, the American-Italian is happy every night, or almost, rarely knows nights without.
However, even though he is showing very good individual statistics, the Seattle native believes that he still has a lot to correct and polish in his game. As evidenced by his recent struggles in December.
” I feel like I’m still too rough in many places “, he judged. ” It may not look like the average person, but I know I’m far from where I should be. I still have a lot of work waiting for me. »
Praised by LeBron James and Kevin Durant, whom he did not fail to challenge strongly, in one-on-one, when he faced them, Paolo Banchero had everything to be part of the cream of the league.
However, this is not quite the end for the Magic’s long-toothed rookie, who is looking to earn his stripes of All-Star, NBA champion and Hall of Famer as soon as possible, by the time his career ends. finally. He who has already achieved one of his main goals, to be number 1 in the Draft, and is now on his way to achieving another one of his goals, namely to win the title of Rookie of the Year…