Mo Bamba Reveals What Has Helped Him Grow This Season

Mo Bamba, Orlando Magic, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The Orlando Magic have not had as much success yet this NBA season as they had hoped they would have. The young Magic squad is currently bringing up the rear in the Eastern Conference with a record of 4-14.

But, the organization has to be excited about the direction things could be heading with how well some of their young players are performing.

One of those young players who has started coming on this season is Mo Bamba. Bamba was selected 6th overall in the 2018 NBA Draft but has yet to truly break out. Whether it was injuries or other players ahead of him, as the Magic had All-Star Nikola Vucevic entrenched at the center spot before trading him at the deadline, something was always holding Bamba back.

With Vucevic on the Bulls and improved health, Bamba is showing what made him such a high lottery selection. He is averaging 10.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, one steal, and 2.2 blocks in only 29.9 minutes per game.

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The Texas product has started all 18 games for the Magic this season as well after starting only six the first three seasons of his career. Recently, Mo Bamba was asked during an interview with HoopsHype what has helped him grow to the level he has reached this season and he attributed it to his coaches.

“I want to contribute it to our coaches. They gave me an opportunity to get out there and play in what I can offer to the game and how I can make winning plays. It’s been listening to them, and their vision for me, and the freedom they give me offensively and defensively to go challenge shots is the biggest thing.”

Jamahl Mosley is in his first season as head coach of the Orlando Magic, as he replaced Steve Clifford, who had the job for three seasons but saw the team’s record get worse throughout his tenure. Mosley and his staff have done a good job connecting with Bamba, helping him take that step in his development he hadn’t yet achieved.

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That freedom, especially defensively, is something that Bamba noted as a big difference between playing for Clifford and Mosley.

“I think the biggest thing for me is the defensive freedom. I’m able to switch and guard multiple people as opposed to when I was playing under (Steve) Clifford. It was to stay in my coverage and stay traditional, protect the rim, but don’t be overzealous. Now, I get to go out there and really display what I can do out there defensively, which is challenge shots and switch onto smaller guards.”

From the sounds of it, Mo Bamba is now being put in a position to make plays take advantage of his unique skill set. It has yielded some positive results, as Bamba is currently third in the NBA in blocks per game.