ORLANDO, FL – The Orlando Magic opened up training camp this, starting with yesterday’s media day and continuing with practices today.
One notable player that has been missing from the floor for the Magic is Forward Jonathan Isaac, who has battled with injuries and recovery over the past few years.
As Isaac spoke to the media yesterday, he mentioned his health.
“The light is at the end of the tunnel now” said Isaac. Referring to his song rehab after an ACL tear in the Orlando Bubble in 2020. “I’m feeling great. I can see it, and I’m just pushing every day.”
Isaac was growing into one of the best defensive players in the NBA in the 2019-2020 season, averaging 11.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.6 steals in just 28.8 minutes per game. He shot 47 percent from the field, including 34 percent from 3-point range and 78 percent from the free-throw line. He was having a career year.
He has been in an extended recovery rehab with the Magic after multiple setback s in his return.
The final hurdle seems to be his conditioning.
We witnessed Isaac go through several one on one drills in the first day of camp, and his speed and explosiveness are there. We saw him drive, spin around a defender and throw down a thunderous dunk into the net.
But after these drills, he was gassed. Isaac needed recovery time as he stood with his hand s on his knees. He has to get his basketball conditioning back, and that will take time. He realizes that, and is willing to do the work.
“II won’t be doing any five on five drills yet. I keep working on the side. Skill wise, I’m the best basketball player I have been thus far.”
” I feel fantastic, I feel the best I have thought this entire process. I tell everybody, I’m running, I’m jumping, I’m playing one on one and doing all of those things. I think we’re ready to put this all together and I’m excited about it.”
“But at a the end of it all, I wanna do this thing right. I want to get this thing behind me and solidified and setback to playing basketball.”
Orlando has a few more days of training camp at the new Advent Health training center, then it’s off to Memphis to play the Grizzlies and open the 2022-23 NBA Preseason on Monday October 3rd.