Paolo Banchero made his NBA debut on Wednesday night in Detroit as the Magic went on the road to face the Pistons in a matchup of teams loaded with young talent. The most recent No. 1 overall pick did not disappoint for Orlando, as he set a new Magic rookie record with 27 points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists, putting on a show from the get-go against Cade Cunningham, Jaden Ivey, and the equally exciting Pistons.
In the fourth quarter with the Magic trailing, Banchero put forth the highlight of the night in the NBA, as he threw down a massive dunk on the break over Cory Joseph for an and-1 finish that had the Orlando bench going crazy.
— NBA (@NBA) October 20, 2022
Joseph makes the bold choice to try and slide in front of the massive rookie and pays the price with a knee to the chest, a place on the wrong end of a highlight, and a foul for good measure. The additional angles of the dunk show how Banchero just flies through Joseph and seems to only go higher and higher as he throws it down and gives Joseph a staredown after.
The Magic, who started the game on fire before the Pistons battled back to take control, weren’t able to complete the comeback (thanks to an Isaiah Stewart dagger three, of all things), but even in a loss it was an encouraging showing from their young stars, headlined by Banchero’s debut, but also with Franz Wagner and Jalen Suggs having big nights. On the other side Detroit got big nights from Cunningham and Ivey, but the difference was veteran sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic catching fire from deep, as both teams look primed for a step forward this season.