For me, just being in the arena is a comforting. Being a part of the event is exciting. And seeing a handful of players in person (some may not make it into the regular season) always impresses me.
The Spurs kicked off a great first quarter taking control with a 33-19 lead. The Magic came back nearly matching with their 30-19 second quarter.
Most of the second half involved lead changes and some unnecessary nail-biting.
There was James Borrego sighting.
During one of the t-shirt tosses, UTSA quarterback Frank Harris served as guest thrower and made the crowd quite happy.
In the end, wins and losses are going to be less important than overall development of the players, and that in and of itself needs to stay clear throughout the 82 regular season contests.
I would like to say I took pictures during the game, but I got so wrapped up in actually watching that other than nearly falling over a rail for t-shirt (p.s. the new styles are awesome), I didn’t take my phone out.
I will be in attendance Sunday night and will do my best to give you all a more comprehensive summation.
For now, let me say:
- Blake Wesley is fearless and has all the makings of being worth his weight in gold.
- As previously mentioned, Devin Vassell will be thrust into a bigger role and this could prove to be his make or break year. For a player who does not back away from a challenge, watching him will be worth the price of admission.
- Isaiah Roby is a beast on the boards. He was tasked with covering Mo Bamba and Bol Bol and still managed to make them work for put backs at the rim.
- If Keita Bates-Diop does nothing but hang in the corner and hit threes, he’ll pull enough coverage to give the youngsters a chance to show their stuff.
- Zach Collins gets my vote for bigger needle mover this year. With Jock Landale out of the picture, he is the go to come off the bench behind Jakob Poeltl. When in, he had a fire in his belly that will mesh with the young bench squad.
- Gorgui Dieng was not expected to play, so when he stepped onto the court, he got an immediate crowd response. His calm among the squad forecasts his need to be share basketball IQ with the next generation.
On the Orlando side, it was cool to catch glimpses to Paolo Banchero. The top draft pick is going to be a crowd pleaser everywhere he goes.
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