Magic’s Isaac be­com­ing force

Or­lando 7-footer emerg­ing as one of NBA’s top ath­letic for­wards.

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Hays

CLEVE­LAND — Jonathan Isaac said he used take over games with an of­fen­sive mind­set in high school. He was putting up 3-point­ers, some­times scor­ing at will. He wanted the ball in his hands and no one was stop­ping him.

“In high school, I was the man. I was the guy … I had 44 one night. I was putting them up. All 3s, too,” said Isaaac, the Or­lando Magic’s third-year for­ward who now lets the game come to him. He was the man while at Naples Bar­ron Col­lier High and Hol­ly­wood’s In­ter­na­tional School of Broward. The 7-foot Isaac also at­tended IMG Acad­emy in Braden­ton for one post-grad­u­ate sea­son be­fore play­ing a year at Florida State.

It was at FSU where the lanky, 6-foot-9, 210-pound ath­letic for­ward started to de­velop more of an all-around game. Now, at nearly 7 feet and 230 pounds, Isaac con­tin­ues to evolve dur­ing what is es­sen­tially his sec­ond NBA sea­son af­ter his rookie cam­paign was lim­ited to just 27 games due to a nag­ging an­kle in­jury.

Isaac al­ready is known as one of the best de­fend­ers in the league.

He still has his boy­ish charm and he nearly blushes at the men­tion of ac­co­lades. He gushes about Kevin Du­rant, his child­hood idol who named Isaac one of the NBA’s ris­ing stars dur­ing an in­ter­view in Fe­bru­ary.

“KD has al­ways been my guy,” Isaac said Mon­day prior to the Magic’s 103-88 loss to the Pistons. It was two days af­ter Isaac had scored a ca­reer-high 26 points dur­ing a loss at In­di­ana, an of­fen­sive out­burst that was some­what born out of ne­ces­sity with two of the Magic’s top scor­ers — Nikola Vuce­vic and Aaron Gor­don — out with an­kle in­juries.

Isaac will be look­ing to de­liver more scor­ing Wed­nes­day night when the Magic aim for their first road vic­tory of the sea­son at

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