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Former Bishop McGuinness standout Daniel Orton struggles, is ejected in professional debut

Daniel Orton labors through disappointing debut in Orlando
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, Modified: July 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm •  Published: July 5, 2010

Fist bumps and a few talking-tos was what the Orlando Magic coaching staff first tried to keep Daniel Orton calm.

But when frustration grew into near fisticuffs, there was nothing more the Magic could do to save their 29th overall pick.

Orton was ejected in his professional debut on the opening day of the 2010 AirTran Airways Pro Summer League on Monday afternoon. His dismissal was the final nail in what was a nightmarish beginning to his career.

Orton, the former Bishop McGuinness High standout, was whistled for three offensive fouls in his first 3 1/2 minutes. He struggled with his shooting touch. And for a player projected to be an interior defender, he provided little resistance at the rim.

Orton's night ended after a small scuffle with Indiana forward Josh McRoberts resulted in both players being ejected when referees ruled each guy threw a punch. Orton's final stat line: three points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field, while going 1-for-4 from the foul line along with three rebounds, two blocks, five fouls and four turnovers.

"It's not the best way to (start) it off, but I didn't have a great start at all," Orton said. "I really didn't get started. I couldn't get anything going for myself."

Orton's first two fouls were the result of illegal screens on set pick-and-roll plays. He then picked up his third for too much contact while running to his spot on the low block.

Magic assistant coach Bob Beyer instructed and consoled Orton from the sideline after each foul. Following a ill-advised baseline fadeaway, Magic summer league coach Patrick Ewing encouraged Orton with a fist bump during the next stoppage in play.

"I thought he did a pretty good job for the most part," Ewing said. "It's a learning curve for him. He still has to learn how to play NBA defense, learn how to help. I thought a few times he missed helps. But then on offense, he did a pretty good job of stepping in, ducking in. But the when he gets it he just has to be big and finish it."

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