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Magic’s Paolo Banchero uses preseason to get more pick-and-roll reps – The Denver Post

Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley has mentioned several times that the preseason will be used for experimentation.

For Paolo Banchero, the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft in June, part of that means getting more acclimated to using roll picks. That process began in the Magic’s Monday preseason opener loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

“I played pick-and-roll in college, but college is a very different game,” said Banchero, who had 8 points (2-9), 2 rebounds and 2 steals against Memphis. “In the NBA, it’s a pick-and-roll pretty much every possession. It was a lot more reps than I was used to.

During his 39 games at Duke, Banchero was involved in 64 pick-and-rolls (35 as a ballhandler, 29 as a rollman) that ended with him shooting, representing 9.3% of his game type use, according to Synergy Sports.

If Monday was any indication, expect that usage to increase.

Banchero was involved in at least 13 pick-and-rolls in 24 minutes against Memphis – including possessions that didn’t end with him passing or shooting – blending in time as ball handler and man of roller.

The results were top to bottom, which is expected for a rookie.

At first, Banchero seemed hesitant to shoot as a ball handler in a pick-and-roll while he read his options.

The Memphis defense, which ranked No. 6 in defensive ratings last season, does a good job of helping shooters, disrupting lanes and forcing ball carriers to resume dribbling — things that have happened in Banchero.

This led to Banchero returning the ball or kicking a teammate after failing to create a significant advantage or being slow with his reads.

“In middle school, it was largely isolation, so that’s what I’m used to doing for a lot of my reading, pure isolation,” Banchero said. “I have to get used to doing a lot more pick-and-roll reads as a handler and roll, and speeding that up. I felt like my reads were a lot slower than usual.

Banchero began to look more comfortable as a decider in pick-and-rolls as the game progressed, especially as a roll man.

“With a lot of young guys it tends to be speed, timing, pace and playing with different teammates,” Mosley said. “Understanding the when and the where. These guys are gonna have to keep playing together [to] understand the different readings. Wendell [Carter Jr.] will be a different roll of Mo Bamba. Mo Bamba will be a different roll from Bol. It’s just the timing and getting to know your teammates, understanding how you make certain passes. And then in different spaces on the floor, you have to feel all these points. This will eliminate a lot of our bearings.

Banchero, who primarily completed his half-court possessions as a point, sniper or post-up shooter at Duke, worked on making pick-and-roll reads in Wednesday’s practice.

“I just do [the] simple read every time, trying to get the right read, whether it’s hitting the big one in the pocket or swinging it one more,” Banchero said. “Or come up with my own shot. It’s something I was a little undecided about in the first game, just be me, be aggressive. Heading into those next two games, remembering my shot is the first look, then doing some readings after that.

“Watching the film, I didn’t seem accelerated. I didn’t look super uncomfortable. Knowing that I can go where I want is really encouraging. Now I have to make the right decision when I get there.

Pick-and-rolls are an important part of any NBA offense, regardless of team. The Magic weren’t a pick-and-roll heavy team last season compared to the rest of the league, but still finished 23.5% of their possessions with this type of play. possessions that involved pick-and-rolls that ended in other types of play such as scouting opportunities.

More pick-and-roll opportunities will arise for Banchero, with the Magic taking on the Spurs in San Antonio on Thursday in their next preseason game before facing the Mavericks in Dallas on Friday in a back-to-back game. .

“That’s going to be part of it,” Mosley said. “The work we do in practice, he has to do [during] individual exercises. When to pass, when to drop down and attack the rim, and when to pass outside the perimeter. These are decision making [processes] he’s gonna have to go through we’re asking all these guys to do it.

“You speak of what Franz [Wagner] last year, in some ways, he started moving a bit more towards that. It will be a similar situation with Paolo – being able to make decisions from the pick-and-roll.

This learning curve will take time.

“It doesn’t matter who he’s with in the pick-and-roll, it’s going to take time [to understand] when he makes certain passes,” Mosley said. “Is the guy a speed roller or does he roll in the pocket? Is there a nail man or do I have to throw him on the wing? It will be all these timing pieces. For the first game, just the fact that he’s in it is a good thing so he can recognize when and where he needs to do certain things.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Prize to khprice@orlandosentinel.com or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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