It must be difficult to give everything you have when the environment indicates otherwise. Since last March, the Orlando Magic have entered a rebuilding phase that means that winning basketball games is not the short-term goal. Partly thanks to this new direction, they achieved a fifth place in the draft that translated into the arrival of Jalen Suggs to the franchise, a player who is not willing to bow to the context. “My effort does not require showing my skills every night. It just needs you to get out there and give everything you have. Shots can be missed, but defending, rebounding and talking are things that don’t require your talent.
The Orlando Magic were just one point behind the Boston Celtic in their first preseason game (97-98) in which Suggs already demonstrated that delivery to which he refers. The point guard left a few purebred plays in defense against physically superior opponents. At the end of the game, his coach Jamahl Mosley also applauded his offensive intelligence. «He has understood well who was defending him. Marcus Smart is an All-Defense and he knew this was Jalen’s first NBA game. I think he has managed it well, gotten open shots and selecting the right play to involve his teammates.
Suggs’ game was not perfect, but he closed his first friendly with 9 points, 3 assists and 2 blocks in 21 minutes of play. Not enough to win, but a declaration of intent regarding your commitment.
(Cover photo by Maddie Meyer / Getty Images)