Balancing out his game
Frazier shows defense, looks to raise offense
LAS VEGAS — It took several summer league games, but Orlando Magic rookie Melvin Frazier Jr. finally has his first major highlight as an NBA player.
Frazier anticipated a Utah Jazz player’s pass toward the sideline, and Frazier — using his quick first step and his 7-foot-13⁄4 wingspan — poked the ball forward, accelerated toward the hoop and threw down a right-handed windmill dunk.
The PA announcer inside UNLV’s Cox Pavilion saw an opportunity to adopt Howard Cosell’s famous play-by-play call of George Foreman knocking down Joe Frazier. the announcer
The sequence, midway through Thursday night’s second quarter, was the Magic’s signature moment of an otherwise forgettable outing in which team officials rested second-year forward Jonathan Isaac and heralded rookie center Mo Bamba. From July 3 through Wednesday, the Magic held a total of seven practices, held one shootaround and played three games, and team officials saw no reason to exert Isaac and Bamba too much.
The absences gave Frazier — Melvin, not Joe — a chance to do a little more offensively, and aside from his breakaway dunk, he didn’t deliver. In 26 minutes, he managed just seven points on 3-of-11 shooting.
When the Magic drafted Fraz-
The Magic know what they have in second-round draft pick Melvin Frazier — a hard-nosed, lengthy and versatile defender. So team officials aren’t too concerned about the rookie’s early offensive struggles.
Encouraged Magic wrap up summer league in Las Vegas with 87-85 defeat at buzzer to Oklahoma City Thunder.