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YouTube Gold: Paolo Banchero Gets Lucky

This could have been a lot worse

NBA: Memphis Grizzlies at Orlando Magic
Jan 5, 2023; Orlando, Florida, USA; Orlando Magic forward Paolo Banchero (5) dunks the ball over Memphis Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. (13) in the third quarter at Amway Center. 
Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no question that Paolo Banchero has had a tremendous rookie season to date. The former Blue Devil has already established himself as not just the presumptive Rookie of the Year but also a guy who can be discussed for the All-Star team. We’re not saying he’s going to make it, but he has to be in the discussion.

He’s averaging 21.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 4.0 apg and he's played well beyond his years.

Against Memphis Thursday night, Banchero had 30 points, nine rebounds and three assists.

Here are his general highlights from that game, but that’s not what we’re highlighting today.

It’s this play.

Banchero gets the ball on the break and takes off, running the court like a guard. He crosses behind Ja Morant near the basket and meanwhile, Jaren Jackson is flying down the lane trying to catch up.

He almost did, but not quite, and when they collided, Banchero went down hard. He managed to land on his hands but bounced his head on the court too. He could have hurt one or both wrists or, worse, had a head injury.

In many ways Banchero has a dream life, but injuries are a constant possibility. He’s lucky that this didn't become one.