When the Orlando Magic selected Paolo Banchero with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, many people were wondering if they made the right choice – especially with Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith available. Despite the doubt, Banchero has made the transition from college to the NBA look easy.
Through 11 games as a rookie this season, Banchero is averaging 23.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks in 34.6 minutes per game. What’s even more impressive about his play is that he did it all as a teenager – he was 19 years old when drafted and recently turned 20 on November 12th.
Unfortunately, we haven’t seen him suit up as a 20-year-old – yet. He suffered an ankle injury on Nov. 7th against the Houston Rockets and is still about a week away from returning. While we haven’t seen him play in five games, he’ll eventually return and will pick up right where he left off – which was excellence.
Paolo Banchero Already Making a Name for Himself
Paolo Bachero is turning out to be one of the most exciting young players in the league. He scored at least 20 points in each of his first six games and 9 of his first 11 games. Not only that, but he stepped up his level of play in the two games leading up to his injury – scoring 33 points and 30 points, respectively.
Despite being the second-youngest player on the Orlando Magic, Banchero leads his team in points – also fourth in assists and second in rebounds. The only thing he can improve right now is his efficiency, considering he’s only shooting 46% from the field, 36% from long range, and 77% from the charity stripe.
He’s one of the best storylines to begin the new season and we’re excited to see what he looks like when he returns from injury, but for now we’ll have to wait. In the meantime, we can marvel at what we’ve seen from him so far – so let’s take a look at some of his best moments through the first 11 games of the year.
15. Drops 27 Points in NBA Debut vs. Pistons
On October 19th, Paolo Banchero made his NBA debut with the Orlando Magic. He ended up putting on a historic show on the road vs. the Detroit Pistons. He ended the game with 27 points (team-high), nine rebounds, five assists, and two blocks in just over 35 minutes of action – nothing short of spectacular.
Banchero became the first No. 1 draft pick to record at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in their debut since LeBron James did it in 2003. He shot 11 of 18 from the floor (61%) and 5 of 7 from the charity stripe (71%). The Magic lost 109-113, but Banchero was a +2 when on the floor – he made them better.
14. First Double-Double vs. Hawks
On October 21st, Paolo Banchero played in his second NBA game with the Orlando Magic. While his team lost 98-108 to the Atlanta Hawks, Banchero recorded his first ever double-double at the NBA level. He finished with 20 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and three blocks in 33:38 of action.
Banchero shot just 6 of 18 from the field (33%), 1 of 6 from the three-point line (17%), and 7 of 8 from the free throw line (88%). He wasn’t as effective from the field as his first game, but still managed to record a 20-point double-double – he had the second most points on the team, behind Cole Anthony (25).
13. Drops 23 Points vs. Celtics
On October 22nd, Paolo Banchero got his first taste of an NBA back-to-back when the Orlando Magic hosted the Boston Celtics. Despite losing 126-120, the Magic kept it close against one of the best teams in the league. He finished with 23 points, five rebounds, three assists, and one block in 33:13 of action.
Banchero shot just 6 of 19 from the field (32%), 2 of 7 from long range (29%), and 9 of 11 from the charity stripe. It was another inefficient day from the field, but was still productive and became the first teenager to ever score 20+ points in his first three NBA games – not even Kobe Bryant or LeBron James did that.
12. Drops 21 Points vs. Knicks
On October 24th, Paolo Banchero suited up for his fourth NBA game with the Orlando Magic. It was an away game against the New York Knicks – his first game as a pro in Madison Square Garden. He finished the game with 21 points (team-high), four rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 33:35 of action.
Banchero shot 6 of 13 from the field (46%) and 9 of 11 from the free throw line, but missed all three of his long range jumpers. While the Magic lost their fourth-straight game to start the season – losing to the Knicks by 13 points – Banchero continued his streak of 20-point games to start his impressive career.
11. 29 Points and 8 Rebounds vs. Cavaliers
On October 26th, Paolo Banchero played in his fifth game as a pro – this one on the road against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite the 92-103 loss (their third loss of at least 10 points), Banchero turned in a career-high and team-high 29 points – adding eight rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two blocks.
Banchero shot 10 of 19 from the field (53%), 3 of 5 from long range (60%), and 6 of 8 from the free throw line (75%) in 36:59 (career-high). With his fifth-straight game of 20+ points to start the season, he became the seventh player to do so – joining Wilt Chamberlain, Grant Hill, Elvin Hayes, Oscar Robertson, Dominique Wilkins, and John Williamson.
10. 21-Point Double-Double vs. Hornets (First Win)
On October 28th, Paolo Banchero looked to keep his streak alive against the Charlotte Hornets – he was playing on his home court after a six-day road trip. He did exactly what he has done since entering the league, finishing the game with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists in a career-low 27:11 of action.
Banchero made the most of his opportunities, shooting 8 of 14 from the field (57%) and 2 of 4 from long range (50%), but shot 3 of 7 from the charity stripe (43%). Still, he recorded his second double-double and came just three assists away from his first triple-double. Oh, and the Magic finally got their first win.
9. Drops 18 Points vs. Mavericks
There comes a time when every player comes back down to Earth after an incredible stretch and that’s exactly what happened to Paolo Banchero on October 30th – it was a road game against the Dallas Mavericks. He finished the game with 18 points, three rebounds, and four assists in 32:23 of gameplay.
His streak of 20+ points came to an end, but it’s encouraging that he still managed to score 18 points – which led the team. He was also a +6 when on the floor, despite losing 105-114. He shot just 6 of 20 from the floor (30%), 1 of 6 from the three-point line (17%), and 5 of 8 from the charity stripe (63%).
8. Drops 15 Points, 8 Rebounds vs. Thunder
On November 1st, the Orlando Magic (who had the No. 1 pick this offseason) played an away game against the Oklahoma City Thunder (who had the No. 2 pick this offseason). Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the Paolo Banchero vs. Chet Holmgren matchup due to a season-ending injury by Holmgren.
Banchero was effective and played well, but he didn’t score as much as we’re used to. He finished the game with a career-low 15 points, but also had eight rebounds, two assists, and one steal. He shot 6 of 13 from the field (46%), 0 of 1 from the three-point line (0%), and 3 of 3 from the charity stripe (100%).
7. Drops 22 Points, 8 Rebounds in Win vs. Warriors
On November 3rd, Paolo Banchero got his first taste of the defending champions and he made the most of it. Despite Steph Curry and Klay Thompson combining for 66 points, the Magic still came away with the win – behind Paolo’s 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 36:06 of action.
Banchero finished the game 8 of 17 from the field (47%), 0 from 4 from the three-point line (0%), and 6 of 9 from the free throw line (67%). The main downside from this game for Paolo was his -19 plus/minus when on the floor – as well as his five turnovers. Nonetheless, he got back on track with another 20+ point performance.
6. Career-High 33 Points, 16 Rebounds vs. Kings
On November 5th, Paolo Banchero suited up in his 10th game since being drafted and it was a special one for the 19-year-old forward. His team couldn’t pull away with a win, losing 123-126, but Paolo turned in 33 points and 16 rebounds (both career-highs and team-highs), four assists, and one blocked shot.
Banchero shot 14 of 26 from the field (54%) and 5 of 5 from the charity stripe – he missed all three of his three-point shots. He also played in a career-high 39:51 – almost topping the 40-minute mark. With his performance, Banchero became the second teenager to record at least 30 points and 15 rebounds – the first was LeBron James.
5. Second-Consecutive 30-Point Game vs. Rockets
On November 7th, Paolo Banchero wanted to build upon his best performance as a pro – which he did. The Magic were playing the Rockets, who had the No. 3 overall pick in the draft this past offseason (they chose Jabari Smith Jr.). Between Banchero and Smith, Banchero had the much better performance.
He finished with 30 points, six rebounds, four assists, and two steals – compared to Smith’s three points, one rebound, and one assist. Banchero shot 8 of 16 from the field (50%), 2 of 4 from long range (50%), and 12 of 14 from the charity stripe (86%). It was his second-straight 30-point performance.
**Unfortunately, Banchero suffered an ankle injury in this game, which has kept him out of the lineup ever since. He’s due to return in a little over one week**
4. This Posterizer on Cory Joseph
Now that we’ve taken a look at each of his first 11 games, we’re going to take a look at one of his most impressive plays from the season so far – an impressive posterizer dunk on Cory Joseph. It was a special moment for Banchero, who was making his NBA debut and wanted to put on a show for everyone.
With nine minutes left in the game, Banchero received a pass from Franz Wagner. The Magic had a 3-on-2 in transition with Bol Bol trailing behind him and Chuma Okeke in the corner. Banchero saw an opportunity at the rim against a player that was seven inches smaller than him – the rest is history, folks.
3. His Footwork vs. Domantas Sabonis
We all know Paolo Banchero can score, we’ve seen his ability to rebound, and we’ve seen him get others involved with some beautiful dime passes. But let’s take a moment to look at his ball-handling and footwork – there’s room for improvement, but he has already put several veterans on skates this season.
Just look at his footwork in the clip above. With roughly nine minutes left in the third quarter against the Sacramento Kings, Banchero had the ball at the top of the key. He went between the legs a couple times before driving to the basket. When he got there, he used a couple pump fakes to get an easy shot at the rim.
2. Avenges Himself After Turnover
Players are going to make mistakes – it doesn’t matter if you’re LeBron James in your 20th season or Paolo Banchero in your first season. The real question is how are you going to respond when things don’t go your way. Are you one to give up, or are you one to take back what you know you deserve.
In his NBA debut, Banchero turned the ball over during the first possession of the fourth quarter – his team was down five at the time. Killian Hayes stole the ball and had a wide-open lane to the rim, but Banchero had different plans. He didn’t give up on the play and recorded a beautiful chase-down block.
1. Expectations = Reality
Scoring, rebounding, passing, dribbling, blocking, stealing – Banchero does it all. And while we love to see rookies play well, we also love to see how confident they are with their game, especially when they’re matching up with veterans who have been in the league for a long time. Banchero screams confidence.
Just look at his post-game press conference on October 28th, following his team’s first win of the season. Here we have a 19-year-old kid who is off to an incredible start to his career and he already looks (and sounds) like he’s been in the league for a decade. “[It’s] what I expect out of myself — playing at this level.”
What Does the Future Hold for Paolo Banchero?
Paolo Banchero has his entire career ahead of him – which could be a good thing or bad thing. So far, we’ve seen a lot of potential out of Banchero and all signs point to him maintaining the momentum throughout his career – once he returns from injury, of course. We’re just one week away from that!
If he can continue to play the way he has, there’s a good chance he could make an All-Star appearance. Even more impressive would be a potential Rookie of the Year award – others in the running include Bennedict Mathurin, Jabari Smith Jr., Jalen Duren, and Jaden Ivy. Banchero is the current favorite.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Greatest NBA Players to Never Win a Championship
Looking beyond this season, the sky’s the limit for Paolo Banchero. Like most rookie stars, they’re bound to improve as they gain comfortability in the league. With his playing style, he could be a threat to put up triple doubles on any night – especially when he gets a better team around him. The future is bright!
Luka Doncic Becomes 2nd Player in NBA History to Score 30 Points in 8 Consecutive Games to Start the Season; Which NBA Players Have More Consecutive 30-Point Games?
Luka Doncic has been on a tear so far this year, becoming just the second player in NBA history to have at least nine consecutive 30-point games to start the season. Through nine games, he’s averaging a league-high 36.0 points per game – adding 8.4 rebounds, 8.3 assists, and 1.9 steals in the process.
Doncic has opened the season with 35 points vs. the Suns, 32 points vs. the Grizzlies, 37 points vs. the Pelicans, 41 points vs. the Nets, 31 points vs. the Thunder, 44 points vs. the Magic, 33 points vs. the Jazz, and 35 points vs. the Raptors, and 36 points vs. the Nets. His team is 5-3 during this stretch.
The only other player to accomplish such a feat is Wilt Chamberlain He opened the 1959-60 season with eight consecutive 30-point games and then opened the 1962-63 season with a whopping 23 consecutive 30-point games. Jack Twyman had seven consecutive 30-point games to start the 1959-60 season.
Who Has More Consecutive 30-Point Games Than Luka Doncic?
Scoring 30 points isn’t easy at any level, but it’s that much harder in the NBA – considering it’s the most talented basketball league in the entire world. That’s why when a player starts to string those 30-point games together, it’s best to get out of their way because there isn’t a whole lot that can stop them.
That’s exactly what we’re seeing from Doncic to start the 2022-23 season – he’s scoring at will and while his streak will eventually come to an end (maybe), it’ll be interesting to see just how close he can get to Chamberlain’s 23 mark. Either way, he has already joined the ranks with one of the greatest of all-time.
While Doncic and Chamberlain are the only two players to score 30 points in eight consecutive games to start a season, there are plenty of others who have achieved longer streaks of consecutive 30-point games throughout a season. Let’s see how close Doncic is to joining those ranks – he’s pretty close!
16. Rick Barry – 9 Consecutive Games
Rick Barry scored 30 points in nine consecutive games as a member of the San Francisco Warriors during the 1966-67 season. The nine-game stretch occurred between December 8, 1966 and January 3, 1967 – he averaged 38.2 points per game during this stretch, including a pair of 50-point games.
In addition to his 38.2 points, Barry also averaged 9.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during his incredible stretch. He had four double-doubles – including a 50-point double-double and back-to-back double-doubles. Not only that, but he played some big minutes, averaging 43.3 minutes per game.
15. George Gervin – 10 Consecutive Games
George Gervin scored 30 points in 10 consecutive games as a member of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1979-80 season. The 10-game stretch occurred between January 8, 1980 and January 25, 1980 – he averaged 40.2 points per game during the stretch, including a 55-point game and a 53-point game.
In addition to his 40.2 points, Gervin also averaged 4.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game during the stretch. He put up at least five rebounds in five of the 10 games and even had a 42-point, three-block game against the Washington Bullets. And he did it all while coming off the bench.
14. Stephen Curry – 11 Consecutive Games
Stephen Curry scored 30 points in 11 consecutive games as a member of the Golden State Warriors during the 2020-21 season. The 11-game stretch occurred between March 29, 2021 and April 29, 2021 – he averaged 40.0 points per game during the stretch, including a 53-point, 49-point, and 47-point game.
In addition to his 40.0 points, Curry averaged 6.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 0.6 steals per game during the stretch. He was shooting 50% from long range, making an average of seven three-pointers per game – you read that right. He had missed the previous five games due to an injury, but that didn’t matter.
13. Shaquille O’Neal – 11 Consecutive Games
Shaquille O’Neal scored 30 points in 11 consecutive games as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2000-01 season. The 11-game stretch occurred between March 28, 2001 and April 17, 2001 – he averaged 33.7 points per game during the stretch, including a pair of back-to-back 39-point games.
In addition to his 33.7 points, O’Neal averaged 12.5 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.7 steals, and 2.4 blocks per game during the stretch. He recorded a double-double in all 11 games, putting up 33 points and 18 rebounds against the Portland Trail Blazers. His stretch came in the final 11 games of the season.
12. Michael Jordan – 11 Consecutive Games
Michael Jordan scored 30 points in 11 consecutive games as a member of the Chicago Bulls during the 1986-87 season. The 11-game stretch occurred between February 13, 1987 and March 4, 1987 – he averaged 40.6 points per game during the stretch, which included a 58-point game and a 61-point game.
Jordan is one of the few players to achieve several other impressive streaks of consecutive 30-point games. On three other occasions, Jordan scored 30 points in 10 consecutive games. He did so once in the same 1986-87 season as above, as well as twice in the 1990-91 season. He scored in bunches.
11. Kevin Durant – 12 Consecutive Games
Kevin Durant scored 30 points in 12 consecutive games as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder during the 2013-14 season. The 12-game stretch occurred between January 7 and January 29, 2014 – he averaged 38.0 points per game during the stretch, including a 54-point, 48-point, and 46-point game.
In addition to his 38.0 points, Durant averaged 6.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game during the stretch. He recorded a 33-point, 10-rebound double-double against the Milwaukee Bucks and a 32-point, 14-rebound, and 10-assist triple-double against the Philadelphia 76ers two weeks later.
10. Tiny Archibald – 12 Consecutive Games
Tiny Archibald scored 30 points in 12 consecutive games as a member of the Kansas City Kings during the 1972-73 season. The 12-game stretch occurred between January 25, 1973 and February 17, 1973 – he averaged 38.9 points per game during the stretch, including a 52-point game and a 49-point game.
In addition to his 38.9 points, Archibald averaged 3.7 rebounds and 11.5 assists per game during the stretch. He recorded a double-double in 10 of the 12 games, including a 16-assist performance and two 14-assist performances. He shot 51% from the field and 85% from the free throw line during the streak.
9. Jerry West – 12 Consecutive Games
Jerry West scored 30 points in 12 consecutive games as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1961-62 season. The 12-game stretch occurred between January 1, 1962 and January 25, 1962 – he averaged 39.3 points per game during the stretch, including a 63-point game and a 50-point game.
In addition to his 12-game stretch, West also scored 30 points in 10 consecutive games during the 1969-70 season – a streak that included two 40-point outings and two double-doubles. He went on to average at least 30 points per game in four different seasons during his career – an impressive feat.
8. Moses Malone – 13 Consecutive Games
Moses Malone scored 30 points in 13 consecutive games as a member of the Houston Rockets during the 1981-82 season. The 13-game stretch occurred between January 26, 1982 and February 23, 1982 – he averaged 37.5 points per game during the stretch, including a 53-point game against the Clippers.
In addition to his 37.5 points, Malone also averaged 17.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game during the stretch. He had a double-double in 12 of the 13 games – the only exception being a 30-point, 9-assist performance. It was arguably the best season of his 21-year Hall of Fame career.
7. Oscar Robertson – 13 Consecutive Games
Oscar Robertson scored 30 points in 13 consecutive games as a member of the Cincinnati Royals during the 1965-66 season. The 13-game stretch occurred between February 15, 1966 and March 9, 1966 – he averaged 37.3 points per game during the stretch, including five games above 40 points.
In addition to his 37.3 points, Robertson averaged 11.6 assists and 7.7 rebounds per game during the stretch. He came close to a triple double nearly every night and even recorded a 30-point triple-double vs. the San Francisco Warriors. He also had a 44-point, 22-assist and 39-point, 15-assist game in that span.
6. Tracy McGrady – 14 Consecutive Games
Tracy McGrady scored 30 points in 14 consecutive games as a member of the Orlando Magic during the 2002-03 season. The 14-game stretch occurred between March 5, 2003 and April 1, 2003 – he averaged 37.4 points per game during that stretch, including a 48-point game and back-to-back 43-point games.
In addition to his 37.4 points, McGrady averaged 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game during the stretch. He recorded three double-doubles and came close to a triple-double on several occasions – including a 39-point, 10-rebound, and 9-assist performance against the Philadelphia 76ers.
5. Kobe Bryant – 16 Consecutive Games
Kobe Bryant scored 30 points in 16 consecutive games as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2002-03 season. The 16-game stretch occurred between January 29, 2003 and February 28, 2003 – he averaged 40.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game during the span.
Bryant put together a slew of memorable performances during the stretch, including a 51-point outing against the Denver Nuggets and a 52-point game against the Houston Rockets. He scored at least 40 points in 11 of the 16 games, including scoring 40+ points in nine straight games – which is impressive!
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 16 Consecutive Games
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 30 points in 16 consecutive games as a member of the Milwaukee Bucks during the 1971-72 season. The 16-game stretch occurred between February 2, 1972 and March 1, 1972 – he averaged 40.0 points, 15.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game during the impressive scoring streak.
Abdul-Jabbar scored at least 40 points in 8 of the 16 games (half of them) and even eclipsed the 50-point mark three times – 53 points vs. the Cleveland Cavaliers, 51 points vs. the Boston Celtics, and 53 points vs. the Philadelphia 76ers. He had two 20-rebound double-doubles and one 20-rebound triple-double.
3. Elgin Baylor – 18 Consecutive Games
Elgin Baylor scored 30 points in 18 consecutive games as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, though the streak spans across two seasons. He scored at least 30 points in the final 14 games of the 1961-62 season and then scored at least 30 points in the first four games of the 1962-63 season.
It should be noted that he played in 13 playoff games between the end of the 1961-62 season and start of the 1962-63 season – he had 11 consecutive 30-point games in those playoffs. He also had 14 consecutive 30-point games in the 1962-63 season and 10 consecutive 30-point games in 1961-62.
2. James Harden – 32 Consecutive Games
James Harden scored 30 points in a whopping 32 consecutive games as a member of the Houston Rockets during the 2018-19 season. The 32-game stretch occurred between December 13, 2018 and February 21, 2019 – he averaged 41.1 points, 7.6 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 2.2 steals per game.
Harden scored at least 40 points in 18 of the 32 games – including 50-point game vs. the Lakers, a 57-point game vs. the Grizzlies, a 58-point game vs. the Nets, and a 61-point game vs. the Knicks. He also had 10 double-doubles and five triple doubles during the incredible stretch of games.
1. Wilt Chamberlain – 65 Consecutive Games
Wilt Chamberlain scored 30 points in 65 consecutive games as a member of the Philadelphia Warriors during the 1961-62 season. The 65-game stretch began on November 4, 1961 and came to an end on February 22, 1962 – he averaged 50.2 points, 25.1 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game in that span.
Chamberlain scored at least 60 points in 11 of those 65 games – including a 78-point, 43-rebound game and 73-point, 36-rebound game. He had 14 games with at least 30 rebounds. He also scored 30 points in 31 straight games in 1962, 25 straight games in 1960, and 20 straight games in 1964. He did it often.
NBA Players That Could Join This List Any Moment
As of November 6, there are seven players in the NBA averaging more than 30 points per game – either through 8, 9, or 10 games. Those players are Luka Doncic (obviously), Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant, Donovan Mitchell, Stephen Curry, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Jayson Tatum.
Not only that, but there are seven more players averaging at least 25 points per game and 31 others putting up at least 20 points per game. With so many players that can light it up – not just at a high rate, but consistently – you never know who might be the next to join the ranks with those listed above.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: The Greatest NBA Players to Never Win a Championship
For now, we get to keep an eye on Luka Doncic as he continues his quest towards Wilt Chamberlain’s tough-to-beat record of 23 consecutive 30-point games. Giannis already did it six straight times, but no one else has even come close to Doncic’s mark of seven. We’ll see if that changes in the coming months.
- 0.1 Paolo Banchero Already Making a Name for Himself
- 0.2 What Does the Future Hold for Paolo Banchero?
- 1 Luka Doncic Becomes 2nd Player in NBA History to Score 30 Points in 8 Consecutive Games to Start the Season; Which NBA Players Have More Consecutive 30-Point Games?
At The Buzzer, or ATB is the place for those who love sports, life, family, community, and so much more. We are far from the run-of-the-mill 24/7 sports news websites. We not only bring you what’s happening in the world of sports in terms of trades and breaking news, but we also bring you the news that goes on behind the scenes, like big life moments, and so much more. So take a minute and read one of our articles, we promise you won't regret it.