Oladipo Ready To Make His Point

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ORLANDO, Fla. — It was one thing for Victor Oladipo to take the floor in his first summer league game and fill up the box score with a handful of impressive stats. He stuck in 3-pointers and got to the basket with his speed and aggression.

But the nod of heads among members of the Magic coaching staff said they were just as impressed the next day when the ball was bouncing off the rim and shots weren’t falling. That’s when the No. 2 pick in the draft gave that he just might be able to play some time at point guard, as they’d hoped.

“Shooting guard, point guard, whatever you want to call me, it doesn’t matter,” Oladipo said. “I just think of myself as a guard and I’ll do whatever the coaches want me to do. I don’t want to limit myself or any possibilities with a label or a position.”

James Borrego, the Magic’s summer league head coach has put Oladipo at both backcourt spots at different times in games and has been satisfied with the results.

“I’ve thought he’s looked solid,” Borrego said. “He’s a guy that takes what the defense gives him and doesn’t try to force something that isn’t there. Teams will apply pressure and test his skill, but he’s responded well and got us into our sets. He’s been aggressive, looked for his shot and found open bodies. We put him in the pick and roll a lot to see what he could do. And overall we were very pleased with his effort.’’

Oladipo’s high energy made him a star last season at Indiana and that’s the attribute the Magic want most as a leader to ignite this young team. What he doesn’t lack is confidence and what he won’t do is back down from a challenge. He’s ready to push at his limits and try to measure up against the established scoring point guards in the league such as Chris Paul, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker.

“I’m up for all of it,” Oladipo said. “I’m a rookie, but all those guys were rookies once, too. Everybody’s got to start out somewhere and build their game. I just don’t want the building to take too long.”

The 6-foot-4, 215 pounder has both the speed and the size to thrive by driving to the basket, can create his own shots and can make jumpers coming off screens.

“I’ve never played [point] at any other level, so it’s a little challenging just because you don’t want them to speed you up. You’ve still got to run all the plays, but you’ve got to pick you times when to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive.

“Whatever you want me to play, I’ll play. “If you want me to come off ball screens, I’ll come off ball screens and if you want me to set up the offense I’ll set up the offense. If you want me to stand in the corner and shoot, I’ll do it because that’s how badly I want to win.’’

13 Comments

  1. Jdd says:

    Great attitude. He hits those 3s gonna be hard to stop

  2. Jim Keelor says:

    VO’s shooting will continue to improve but what impressed me was his total fearlessness in taking the ball to the hole. He got fouled hard..some blocked and a few made. However he can knock down those FT’s. During the regular season when team mates are a threat to score and the Magic can stretch the floor..Oladipo wil be a real threat to get the ball to the bucket one way or another. What killed the Pacers this year is that they didn’t have a guard who could get to the basket against the Heat..too many bad outside shots. Vic will give the Magic multiple options..and if the NBA ever starts track “deflections” VO will lead the team and probably the league. Great kid!

  3. letario rice says:

    Victor Oladipo has great handles and creates very well for himself but his handles must improve against the full-court or half-court press if he plays the 1 position. He has great decision making and high IQ for game but he, like any other backcourt, he needs a shooting guard who can stretch the floor even further. The combination of him and Lamb is very nice. Oladipo brings out Lamb’s shooting ability very well.

  4. J says:

    Love this guy’s attitude and energy – more players in the NBA could use that mindset and determination (COUGHDwightHowardCough). We miss him at IU already.

  5. asdf says:

    I like that guy in Boston, Kelly Olynyk, big man that can really run and shoot, reminds me of a young Dirk Nowitzki.

  6. Jumppong says:

    Nahhhh Shabazz will blossom

  7. KImmy says:

    Hey Bubba, Westbrook is polished!!!!!!

    • Bubba says:

      Of course he is. I was referring to Oladipo’s coming out party compared to Westbrook. Westbrook is a true beast who is my favorite PG ahead of CP3.

  8. Bubba says:

    His teammates will feed off his energy. He will spark the Magic at PG. Nice stats in his 1st game. He seems like a Russell Westbrook type player, but with less turnovers. He is more polished and smarter. Definitely a superstar. Oladipo, Afflalo, Harkless, Tobias Harris, and Vucevic make a nice starting 5.

  9. ben says:

    1st! Oladipo is a real pro – kids gonna be a star. great attitude