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He may have played just seven minutes on Monday night, but Jonathan Isaac was all smiles following the Orlando Magic’s final scrimmage inside the NBA bubble at Walt Disney World on Monday night.
Isaac made his first appearance for the Magic since injuring his left knee on Jan. 1, an injury that was supposed to have sidelined him through the rest of the year.
"It's really fun to be back out there,” Isaac said after the scrimmage, via ESPN. “I think one of the biggest parts about just getting back out there was being with my teammates and being able to put my jersey on and kind of just have it come full circle with all the work that's been put in and just the day in and day out [grind]. So to be back on the floor feels good.”
Isaac went down on New Years Day in their game against the Washington Wizards as he attempted to drive through the late, and had to be stretchered off the floor. He had been rehabbing his knee ever since. The 22-year-old was averaging 12 points and 6.9 rebounds per game up until that point.
How much will Isaac play this season?
Isaac played just seven minutes on Monday night against the Denver Nuggets, and wore a brace on his knee the entire time, though finished with 13 points after dropping a pair of 3-pointers.
“I wasn’t thinking so much about what I was going to do. I think my mindset was just come out there and just feel the game and just do whatever I can,” Isaac said, via the Orlando Sentinel. “So I was looking for my shot early — I’m sure you guys could see that — and just try to go with the game and try my best.”
The Magic will enter the season restart this week with a 30-35 record, which puts them in the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They’ll take on the Brooklyn Nets on Friday afternoon in their first real game in March, and attempt to hold onto that postseason spot.
While Monday night’s brief outing went well, it’s still unclear how much of an impact Isaac will have when play resumes.
Regardless, Orlando coach Steve Clifford was simply happy to have Isaac around again.
“He was great. I think that not just the way he played, [but also] his energy level, his purpose of play and then obviously his shotmaking, but the best thing is just what a lift he gives the team,” Clifford said, via the Orlando Sentinel. “You saw when he came how happy guys were. It was just good to have him back and have him on the floor.”
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