Magic experiment with Oladipo
by Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY Sports
ORLANDO — Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo views himself as a guard. Point guard, shooting guard — it doesn’t matter. He’s not wrapped up in labels.
“I can play one, two, and if they want me to play the three, I can do that, too,” the former Indiana Hoosier told USA TODAY Sports after his second NBA summer league game. “Wherever they need me to play and whatever they think is best for us to win, that’s what I’m going to do.”
The Magic’s decision to have Oladipo play point guard during the summer league despite his never really playing that position is turning into a potentially valuable move.
While Oladipo is a ways from playing the position regularly in the NBA, it’s clear the tools are there and he will play the point at sometime during the regular season. This is not an experiment with Oladipo, who needs to improve his ballhandling.
“The point guard at this level is challenging because you don’t want (the defense) to speed you up,” Oladipo said. “You’ve still got to run all the plays. You have to pick your times when to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive. I did some good things today, and I did some bad things today.”
Summer league games must not be looked at in a bubble. It’s not his performance that matters. It’s what the Magic envision him doing that is important.
If the Magic want to play big, Oladipo can play point guard alongside shooting guard Arron Afflalo. If Orlando wants to play small, it can use Oladipo as a small forward.
They will also use him often at shooting guard next to starting point guard Jameer Nelson.
On his first day playing point Sunday, Oladipo demonstrated his ability to make jump shots. On his second day and with his jumper not falling, Oladipo showed his knack for getting to the rim and to the foul line.
Oladipo was held to 12 points on 2-for-12 shooting, but he attempted 10 free throws and cut his turnovers to three from six against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday.
“Vic was aggressive. He looked … [For more on Orlando Magic experiment with rookie Victor Oladipo, click here.]