5 Standout Plays From Jonathan Isaac in Team USA Exhibition
Drive and Finish
With just over eight minutes left in the third quarter, Jonathan Isaac received the ball on the right wing and, without any hesitation, accelerated down the center of the lane, finishing high off the glass. Most impressive about the drive was that he finished with his left hand and, prior to the shot, didn’t get thrown off his trail after taking some contact from Khris Middleton, Isaac’s primary defender on the possession.
While he showed last season to be fairly ambidextrous when driving to the hoop, most of the time when going left he’d still use his right hand to finish. The few times he did use his left hand, he had a hard time making the shot.
The play from Isaac, who tallied 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and four steals for the USA Select Team, that merited the most attention from fans on social media was his coast-to-coast drive. After gathering a defensive rebound, the 21-year-old raced down the floor before momentarily freezing his defender, Joe Harris, with a James Harden-esque size-up move. Although he didn’t make the shot, the 6-foot-11, now 234-pound forward was able to draw the foul and convert on a pair of free throws.
Behind the 3-point line is where Isaac improved the most as last season evolved. Prior to the All-Star break, the Bronx, N.Y. native shot 28.7 percent from downtown. Afterwards, he made 38.2 percent of his threes. It was from the wings where he struggled the most, though, connecting on just 29.8 percent of his tries from the left and right wings combined for the season.
Midway through the fourth, Isaac ran to the left wing, caught a pass from Derrick White and drilled the wide open triple.
The Magic recorded the 10th most putback points in the league last season, not a surprise with how much length they had. Considering they will have virtually the same roster this upcoming season, expect them to rank near the top again in this category in 2019-20. Don’t be surprised if Isaac, a very good offensive rebounder who followed up a Marvin Bagley III missed shot with a slam on Friday, is one of the NBA’s individual leaders in putback points.
Heart & Hustle
Even in an exhibition like Friday’s, Isaac is always willing to do whatever it takes to help the team, including diving on the floor and scrambling for loose balls.