Up until this season, Victor Oladipo has been fine. A decent NBA player, nothing special, but certainly not a terrible option. As part of the trade that sent Paul George to Oklahoma City, Oladipo landed back in Indiana, where he played in college, but little did we all know, Oladipo’s homecoming would lead to a star turn for the shooting guard.
Oladipo has been absolutely phenomenal for the Pacers this season, putting up gaudy averages of 24.3 point per game to go with right around five rebounds and four assists. Those stats are obviously impressive, but more importantly, it’s how he is putting up such box scores that makes this season so impressive.
Coming into this season, Oladipo had been a below-average shooter from deep, relying instead almost exclusively upon drives to the basket. Without a three point stroke, defenses were able to key in on Oladipo’s driving tendencies and neutralize him. This season however, he has been absolutely spot-on from downtown, converting just over 42% of his looks. With his newfound three point success, Oladipo is forcing defenders to close out on him, allowing him to use his speed to blow by them and convert his drives at a much more efficient rate than ever before.
It’s clear that being viewed as part of a disappointing package Indiana received for George has motivated Oladipo to play the best basketball of his career. This is a player that, even coming out of college, few viewed as a potential superstar; yet, here he is putting up superstar numbers. While George struggles to fit in with two other ball-dominant stars in OKC, Oladipo is doing the complete opposite- he’s cementing himself as a superstar.