Orlando Magic swingman Jonathan Isaac absolutely enjoyed returning to the court as it all went perfect for him in his first match in seven months. Isaac was enjoying a breakthrough season before he picked up a left knee injury in early-January.
It appeared that Isaac, who was averaging 12 points and 6.9 rebounds, would be out for the remainder of the year but then the season got suspended and recovered in time for the restart. In a 114-110 win over the Denver Nuggets, Isaac played only seven minutes but managed to score 13 points and grab seven rebounds.
"It felt really good," Isaac said during a video call with reporters, as quoted on ESPN. "It's really fun to be back out there. I think one of the biggest parts about just getting back out there was being with my teammates and being able to put my jersey on and kind of just have it come full circle with all the work that's been put in and just the day in and day out [grind].
So to be back on the floor feels good; I'm glad I played well. My teammates were rooting me on."
Markelle Fultz admits the Magic missed Isaac
Isaac was an integral part of Magic's starting lineup earlier this season and losing him was a major blow for the team.
Magic guard Fultz says it's all easier when Isaac is on the floor and as he brings a lot of positive energy. "It's hard not to play hard when he's on the floor, because on both ends he's running the floor, he's playing defense, so he kind of helped me a lot just being out there with him.
Just seeing his energy, it pushed me to go harder," Fultz said of Isaac's return. "It's huge. I think a lot of us were just thinking about that, him being injured, you don't want to have him rush to be here because you know how much he loves the game.
So just seeing how dedicated he was to work hard -- as you hear him talk about, he had to do two-a-days, just seeing it pay off, I think that's the biggest thing ... I think everybody's just really excited. You could hear it as soon as he checked in -- everybody was super excited.
And then to see him play like that was even bigger. I'm pretty sure that took a big load off everybody's back."