Biyombo will be rested Tuesday against Miami, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports.
The offseason addition will get the night off after playing a preseason-high 36 minutes in Orlando's matchup with the Hawks on Sunday. In that game, Biyombo scored just seven points but tallied 19 rebounds, five blocks, two assists and a steal, offering a preview of what intrigued the Magic enough to offer the big man a four-year, $72 million contract in July. Expect Biyombo to return for Thursday's preseason finale against the Pelicans, but keep in mind that he's suspended for the regular season opener next Wednesday against Miami.
Biyombo contributed seven points (2-7 FG, 3-10 FT), 19 rebounds, five blocks, two assists and one steal across 36 minutes in Sunday's 105-98 preseason loss to the Hawks.
Magic coach Frank Vogel rested Nikola Vucevic for the contest, allowing him to get a glimpse of Biyombo alongside the team's other four starters. While he struggled from the field and the free-throw line, Biyombo exerted his will on the defensive end, just as the Magic likely envisioned after signing him to a four-year deal this summer. It's still not certain who the Magic will deploy as their full-time starter at center this season, but Biyombo has outproduced the more offensive-minded Vucevic thus far in the preseason. Regardless if he starts or comes off the bench, Biyombo should be a reliable source of rebounds and blocks for the balance of the season.
Biyombo will start at center in Sunday's preseason matchup with the Hawks, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports.
With Nikola Vucevic (rest) sitting out, look for Biyombo to get some extended run with the starters as coach Frank Vogel looks to assess if the free-agent pickup fits in well with the top unit. Given Vucevic's shooting struggles this offseason and his lack of impact on the defensive end, it's not hard to envision Biyombo surpassing him on the depth chart. Biyombo doesn't have much of an offensive arsenal beyond dunks and putbacks, but his mobility, tireless motor and long limbs make him a strong rebounder and intimidating shot blocker.
Biyombo registered nine points (3-5 FG, 3-4 FT), 11 rebounds, three assists, three blocks and one steal across 24 minutes in Wednesday's 95-89 preseason loss to the Spurs.
While Serge Ibaka (knee) was sidelined for the Magic's first two preseason games, Biyombo started alongside Nikola Vucevic, but since both are best suited to play center, it proved to be a clunky fit. With Ibaka cleared to reclaim his usual spot in the starting five Wednesday, Biyombo was much more effective while coming on in relief of Vucevic off the bench, as his length presented plenty of problems for the Spurs. It's unclear if Biyombo or Vucevic will ultimately settle in as the Magic's regular starter at center, but look for Vucevic to get the nod in the Oct. 26 opener against the Heat. Biyombo will have to miss that contest while serving a one-game suspension stemming from an accumulation of flagrant fouls in the postseason last spring.
Biyombo posted three points (1-6 FG, 1-4 FT), five rebounds, three assists and a steal over 26 minutes in Wednesday's 117-102 loss to the Cavs.
The 24-year-old couldn't get anything going on the offensive end, but defense is admittedly his overwhelming focus when he's on the floor. Biyombo didn't quite replicate the success he enjoyed on the boards in the preseason opener versus the Grizzlies, when he hauled in 10 boards in just 23 minutes, but still managed some serviceable production over his time on the court Wednesday. While fellow big man Nikola Vucevic outperformed him on the stat sheet overall, Biyombo's defensive prowess could well catapult him into the top spot at the five heading into the regular season.
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