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The Orlando Magic’s season so far has gotten off to a shaky start with multiple players being out due to injuries. However, the fourth youngest team in the league has a group of promising players, in particular, Bol Bol.
He has taken his opportunity and turned it into something that may be beneficial for their future.
After three rough seasons dealing with injuries and restricted minutes with the Denver Nuggets, the 7’2″ forward has brought pure entertainment and excitement for the Orlando Magic this season. Bol has seemed to be a fan-favorite for a while when the hashtag “#FREEBOLBOL” was a trending topic on Twitter since fans believed his talent was not being used properly.
Bol was once ranked as high as No. 4 of the best high school recruit in the nation. The son of the former NBA player, Manute Bol, was also projected as a top-five pick in the 2019 NBA Draft but a foot injury would push him down to the 42nd pick of that draft.
Before suffering the injury at Oregon, Bol had averages of 21.0 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks through nine games. It was difficult for him to find minutes on the Nuggets since he was still battling injuries. This led to the Nuggets moving on with the special talent.
Bol’s numbers as of late have been impressive ever since he was inserted into the Magic’s starting lineup. One of his best performances was a loss against the Minnesota Timberwolves, including a career high of 26 points and 12 rebounds with three blocked shots.
Bol has recorded four double-doubles within the last eight games. He seems to be more relaxed and comfortable running the floor and swatting shots with his 7-foot-8 wingspan.
The fourth-year player has that style of play that makes you scratch your head and say, “Is this even real?” Watching him play is like creating a player on NBA 2K that can do almost everything.
For Bol to be extremely tall, he can be very crafty and has a nice handle for his size, whether hitting his defenders with a behind-the-back or a between-the-legs move that leads him into an easy shot.
To see a legit 7-footer that can bring up the ball as if he were a guard is a sight in itself. This could throw a big-man defender off trying to maneuver guarding him during a transition fast break. If he is guarded by a smaller defender, Bol can use his height advantage to go over for an easy bucket.
Even though he plays similar to a guard, that does not effect Bol on the defensive end. Being able to guard with his mobility at his height is very scary. It’s been multiple occasions during a switch on defense, he picks up the ball handler and tracks him down for a block.
One aspect that stands out about his game is the fact he does not relax up on the defense end. There have been bigs in the league who have tried to play like guards but are very silent on the defensive end. Bol has proven his defensive ability with being third in the league in blocked shots.
Bol is an unbelievable talent that you can’t take for granted. Many believe that he plays similar to Victor Wembanyama, who is the projected first pick in the 2023 Draft. This would be a matchup that could be exciting to watch in the future, but for now, Bol is putting the league on notice.
The sky’s the limit for Bol and if he continues to shine without injuries, we may have a candidate this year for the Most Improved Player.