Orlando Magic guard draws big-time comparison from head coach

Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors
Orlando Magic v Toronto Raptors / Mark Blinch/GettyImages

His team may have lost in the first round of the playoffs, but Jamahl Mosley still did a phenomenal job with this young Orlando Magic squad. He got them to develop an identity and culture that led to a lot of unexpected success so early in the rebuild. 

Making the most of his offseason now that it is here, Mosley joined JJ Redick on his podcast The Old Man and the Three. The two talked about Mosely’s coaching journey, working with such talented young players, and the team’s bright future. 

Obviously, you can’t talk about the Magic’s defensive identity without mentioning Jalen Suggs. He is the heart and soul of Orlando’s tough and gritty defense. There is no guard he is scared to face and no screen he won’t try to fight over. 

Mosley and Redick compare Suggs to star defender

When talking about Suggs’ defense, Mosley compared his young guard to veteran Jrue Holiday. Holiday is one of the most respected guard defenders in the entire league and has already made five All-Defensive teams over his career. That is quite the comparison for a 22-year-old who just finished his third NBA season. 

With his strength, physicality, and fearlessness Suggs does show parallels to Holiday and the way he defends, however. Mosley mentioned all that as well as his high basketball IQ and great instincts when he outlined what made Suggs such a standout on defense. 

He is clearly not alone in that opinion. Former Orlando guard JJ Redick loved the comparison, and Suggs is widely expected to make his first All-Defensive team this year. He finished the season top 10 in total steals and top 15 in total deflections while regularly taking on big names like Tyrese Maxey, Donovan Mitchell, and Trae Young. 

Suggs’ defense is clearly his biggest strength on an NBA court, but his offense is coming along as well. Compared to his first two seasons in the league, his three-point attempts and  shooting percentages went up drastically, and he averaged a career-high 12.6 points per game. 

At 22, Suggs is still incredibly young and has plenty of room to grow. There is no telling what kind of player he will eventually grow into, but if he follows in Jrue Holiday’s footsteps, he will have a successful NBA career.