Film Room: Isaac's Versatility, Magic's Smothering Defense

by Josh Cohen

ORLANDO – Jonathan Isaac shook off early foul trouble to have a solid performance on Wednesday, posting 15 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from 3-point range and 5-of-6 from the free throw line.

Even though most believe it will be his defense that will stand out the most this season, the recently turned 21-year-old has plenty of upside on the other end of the floor.

Perhaps most encouraging about Isaac’s offensive display against the Grizzlies was that he scored in a variety of ways. A standout at Florida State before getting drafted sixth overall by the Magic in 2017, Isaac knocked down a pair of spot-up threes, threw down a thunderous alley-oop dunk and initiated contact on his drives to the basket.


For the second game in a row, the Magic held their opponent to 41 percent shooting. With Steve Clifford, a defensive strategist, at the helm and with so much length across the roster, Orlando has a chance to be special defensively this year and beyond.

Similar to Monday’s game in Miami, the Magic’s half-court defense was exceptionally good. Memphis had a really hard time getting open looks from 3-point distance, largely due to Orlando doing an excellent job rotating when the ball was swung around the arc.

The team’s on-ball defense was outstanding, too, making it difficult for Mike Conley and the Grizzlies’ other playmakers to accelerate into the paint.


One player in particular that has been really impressive, particularly defensively, this preseason is Melvin Frazier Jr., the Magic’s second round draft pick last June. The 22-year-old is very athletic, has great length, moves his feet well and has done a solid job defending pick-and-rolls.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter