Those that were looking forward to watching Mo Bamba and Jonathan Isaac play on Thursday are in for a disappointment.
Neither will play.
.@OrlandoMagic are holding F Jonathan Isaac & C Mo Bamba out tonight vs. @jazz because of “general soreness.” Both young standouts participated in the 5 practices from July 3-5 & played in ORL’s first 3 games of the Vegas Summer League. Tip-off tonight is at 10 PM ET.— John Denton (@JohnDenton555) July 13, 2018
It’s an odd decision considering the fact that the Magic are competing in the first round of the summer league tournament. But what it shows is that winning the summer league championship isn’t a top priority for the Magic, nor should it be. (As we tweeted earlier, can you even remember who won the tournament last season without Googling it?)
The reasoning the Magic gave for holding the two out, though, may seem a bit strange. I mean, how sore can a pair of 20-year-olds really be after a few practices and three games? Holding Isaac out makes more sense considering he is playing full contact for the first time since recovering from his lingering ankle injuries. But Bamba has played a grand total of 52 minutes in three games.
Summer League Playing Time:
Isaac: 29 minutes vs. Nets; 24 minutes vs. Grizzlies; 27 minutes vs. Suns
Bamba: 15 minutes vs. Nets: 15 minutes vs. Grizzlies: 22 minutes vs Suns
The Magic are likely just being cautious with their prized duo. Or maybe they just want to dedicate the playing time to the players who aren’t guaranteed a spot on the roster, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Still, some fans were not happy with the decision, arguing that the more experience Bamba and Isaac get the better, and that other teams didn’t rest their stars, or that they simply were excited to watch them play...
Everyone else is practicing on off days but Ayton, Jackson jr, Trae Young are all playing. Our guys should be playing and getting as much experience as possible. They have the rest of the summer to rest. Also, why wouldn't coach rest them during practice?— Ryan Hawkins (@RHawk6972) July 13, 2018
To a fan base, that hasn’t won anything for 7 years, it’s kind of annoying. This whole “culture” discussion with winning last year when everyone wanted to tank, should be carried over into this. What a confidence boost it would be to actually get the young guys winning. But nope— Chad M. Hilliard (@ChadHilliard) July 13, 2018
I can give two shits about that I just want to see him play and get reps— MP (@MP2474) July 13, 2018
The Magic started Troy Caupain, Melvin Frazier Jr., Wes Iwundu, Khem Birch and Braian Angola-Rodas, With a loss, Orlando will face play a consolation game on Friday. If they win, they’ll advance to Saturday for a single-elimination game.
Either way, curious to see if Bamba and/or Isaac will be back on the court.