Isaac Will Be Held Out Of Final Two Summer League Games
By John Denton
July 4, 2017
ORLANDO – The good news for the Orlando Magic regarding promising forward Jonathan Isaac is that the hip injury he suffered on Monday isn’t thought to be serious. The bad news is that his time playing in the Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League is over.
Isaac, the 6-foot-10, 210-pound forward whom the Magic selected No. 6 in the June 22 NBA Draft, underwent a MRI on Monday that revealed a strain in the left hip he hurt in the second quarter of Monday’s game. Tests showed no other structural damage in the joint, but he will be held out of action on Wednesday and Thursday as a precautionary measure.
In his first three games as a pro, the 19-year-old Isaac averaged 10.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in just 18.5 minutes per game. He shot 44 percent from the field, 25 percent from 3-point range and 75 percent from the free throw line while showing off the fluidity, elite ball skills and defensive timing that made him a player the Magic highly coveted in the weeks leading up the NBA Draft.
``It’s just a precautionary thing, (playing) three games in three days and he’s a rookie and on top of that he had three days of training camp with five practices, so he got through it all great,’’ Magic assistant coach Chad Forcier said after Monday’s summer league game. ``So (holding Isaac out) is just precautionary.’’
The Magic (1-2) are off on Tuesday after playing three games in the first three days of the six-team Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League. The Magic will face the New York Knicks on Wednesday and then will wrap up summer league play on Thursday. Even before the hip injury, it was unlikely that Isaac would have played all five games in the six-day period.
Isaac played especially well early in Orlando’s 86-76 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Monday, contributing nine points, three rebounds, two blocks and a steal in just 12 minutes on the floor. He showed a keen understanding of floor spacing by repeatedly cutting hard to the rim – plays that resulted in all three of his field goals, including one thunderous dunk in which he closed the final 10 feet with two explosive steps and an expansive, 9-foot-2 wingspan.
However, Isaac later was hit hard at the rim by Dallas center Jameel Warney and power forward Christian Wood with 1:55 left in the first half, causing him some pain in his left hip. Forty seconds later, Isaac checked out and did not return the rest of the game. He said after the game that he did not think the injury was serious.
``On that time I went up, I just kind of banged my hip a little bit and there was no point in going forward and playing,’’ Isaac said. ``I ran into two guys and I came down and it felt a little weird, so I just came out and decided to relax.’’
Isaac played in 32 of 35 games this past season with Florida State, missing three because of a hip injury. He said that this injury is not related to the one that he suffered while playing for the Seminoles. He averaged 12 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.2 steals in his lone season at FSU and played well enough to make himself a top-10 NBA pick.
Isaac struggled a bit in his pro debut on Saturday – something he chalked up to the nerves of signing his first NBA contract some 45 minutes before tipoff. He came back on Sunday and gashed the Miami Heat for 15 points, 13 rebounds and a blocked shot – numbers that left him as the rebounding leader at the Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League two games in.
Another strong start on Monday had him looking much more comfortable and relaxed while playing with Magic teammates he had just met less than a week earlier. He admitted that the physicality and speed of the NBA game are areas he is still getting used to as he transitions from college basketball, but he is confident that in time he will continue to blossom the more time he has on the court.
``Like I said before, with every game I just get more and more comfortable and more and more relaxed,’’ Isaac said. ``(Monday) was just more about me cutting through the lane and people finding me and finishing.’’
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