Bal­anc­ing out his game

Fra­zier shows de­fense, looks to raise of­fense

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By Josh Rob­bins

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

bel­lowed.

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-

JOHN LOCHER/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS C3

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.

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