Orlando Magic Summer League: 3 up, 3 down from Magic’s Vegas run

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Paolo Banchero, R.J. Hampton, Caleb Houstan, Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic played as a solid team throughout their Summer league run. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Orlando Magic Summer League: 3 up, 3 down

3 Up: Jesse Mermuys

Throughout the course of last season, Orlando Magic coach Jamahl Mosley constantly praised his coaching staff for helping the team prepare and stay engaged. Mosley is usually one to deflect praise on himself. He wants to be all about his team and that includes his coaching staff.

Obviously, a lot of the directives still come from Mosley. And as president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman put it before the draft, Jamahl Mosley is a lot more comfortable in his position as head coach now than he was a year ago when he was first hired.

Orlando certainly seemed to be settling in on a much more defined and clear style of play on the floor. Yet the team has retained much of the same camaraderie and spirit that defined their 2022 season.

The players deserve credit for buying in. But the Magic’s Summer League coaching staff, led by assistant coach Jesse Mermuys, deserves credit for keeping the team engaged, playing hard and pushing through these games.

Plain and simple: This Magic team has been fun and has carried through everything that made the 2022 team so endearing. On top of that, the team has been creative with its sets and precise with its defense (even if the team does not always have the personnel to run the exact style the Magic are testing out).

Mermuys has done a great job. He has designed some fantastic out-of-timeout plays — including setting up Caleb Houstan for a game-tying 3-pointer in Monday’s loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder on a disguised hammer screen.

It is easy for Summer League players to go off on their own. They have their own goals and desires to showcase themselves. But everyone on this Magic team seems bought into what the Magic are trying to accomplish and engaged and cheering for each other’s success.

That is all anyone could ask for from this kind of a roster. And Mermuys has done an impressive job with this group.