Kyle O’Quinn made his first career start for the Orlando Magic Friday night and had one of his better performances of the season. O’Quinn continues to take steps for the Magic in what he hopes will be a successful NBA career.
But the Magic also hope to get back center Nik Vucevic, who missed his second consecutive game with what Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said was a mild concussion.
Vucevic has been playing well for the Magic lately and they’d like to see him back in the groove. But O’Quinn deserved a shot in what was the Magic’s 22nd different starting lineup of the season.
The Magic lost 97-89 to the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are one of the NBA’s best teams. That made O’Quinn’s first start even more challenging, but he actually played well enough to earn another start.
O’Quinn was on the floor for almost 27 minutes and was 5-of-11 in field goal shooting. He had nine rebounds and one steal but also committed three turnovers,which is too many.
In 44 contests, the rookie from Norfolk State has only been averaging 8.8 minutes with 3.3 points per game. He’s shooting 50.4 percent from the floor.
O’Quinn showed what he can do against the Thunder if he’s given a chance. The Magic want to get Vucevic back in the lineup as soon as possible. But they should keep giving O’Quinn a long look. It’s late enough in the season where Orlando should continue to experiment with different starting lineups and plan for the future