Orlando Magic rookie Jonathan Isaac joins us for a one-on-one interview!
Welcome to the Orlando Sports Weekly Rundown, I'm David Baumann.
Isaac, a 7-footer with a 9-foot reach, is seeing increased minutes for the Magic in his rookie season.
In fact, he played a season-high 29 minutes in the team's recent loss to the Boston Celtics.
Orlando Sports Weekly Rundown Interview With Orlando Magic Rookie Jonathan Isaac
Despite the loss, Isaac got another opportunity to prove he's capable of contributing in his rookie season.
He's averaging 6.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1 block per game through his first 10 NBA games.
He's already recorded some highlight-reel blocked shots... and some exciting slam dunks.
While Isaac doesn't get any respect from CBS (he's nowhere to be found in their Top 10 "Power Rankings", nor their three honorable mentions), he does rank in the Top 5 among all rookies according to numberFire's nERD metric, which, "measures a player's contributions based on efficiency and how many wins above and below .500 a player would make an average team over a full season."
Isaac ranks 5th, Toronto's OG Anunoby 4th, Philadelphia's Ben Simmons 3rd, Atlanta's John Collins 2nd and Boston's Jayson Tatum is 1st.
I caught up with Jonathan after his game against the Celtics.
Unselfish by nature, I found Isaac's answer to my question -- "Do you have a favorite moment at this point?" -- quite refreshing.
Have a listen to our two-minute, 45-second interview below (it also aired on 96.9 The Game radio):
Baumann: Jonathan, can we get a take from you on what this NBA journey has been like for you very early on in your career?
Isaac: I would just say it's been amazing. It's been a blessing to come out here and play for a team, it's mind-blowing to me because I didn't think I'd be doing it. But I just take it one day at a time, trying to get better and trying to help this team win.
Baumann: Magic fans have been desperate for these wins and the season start has been so good and the fans have been so fired up. What's it been like to experience it from your perspective in your first season?
Isaac: It's been great. Just trying to learn as much as I can from guys that I'm playing with and playing against. The guys have my back and guys are helping me learn so it's been really fun and enjoyable.
Baumann: Do you have a favorite moment at this point? You hit that big 3 in the win against Memphis the other night. That's a moment that sticks out to me. Is there one for you?
Isaac: I'd say my favorite moment of the season is not even my 3, is AG(Aaron Gordon)'s 3. It was for the game. We were walking into Memphis and it was a tough road win. And we really needed that one. Him stepping up and hitting that big shot was huge.
Baumann: Jonathan, take us through this stretch now. This is an important time where you're hoping to get some point guards back healthy. Elfrid (Payton)'s been down. And DJ (Augustin) went down to a hamstring injury. This has been tough. You have Jonathon Simmons playing point guard, Evan (Fournier) has been handling the ball as well. Tough stretch right?
Isaac: Yeah man it just speaks to just how important the point guard position is. It's hard to ask somebody who doesn't play the point to play it. So obviously we're struggling a little bit moving the ball and flowing into our offense and it just tells you just how important the point guard position is. I'm just excited to get Elfrid back hopefully next game and try to get right back on track.
Baumann: Last question for you. You played 28 minutes against the Celtics. Were you really hoping in your rookie season that you'd be able to get out there and help contribute like you have been?
Isaac: Yeah no doubt. I love that Coach Vogel has confidence in me and has been playing me more and more each game and leaving me out there late in games when it's close, so, I just appreciate it.
Isaac and the Magic host the New York Knicks at the Amway Center Wednesday night.
David Baumann is a Sports Columnist for 407area.com and can be heard Tuesdays, 7-9pm, on EK Sports, 96.9 The Game, FM radio. He can also be seen Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 10:30 pm, on Spectrum Sports 360's Face Off segment on Central Florida News 13, channel 1013.
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