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Magic Rookie Victor Oladipo: Shooting vs. Point Guard?

At this point in the season, there should be no doubt the Orlando Magic ‘won’ the early round of the 2013 NBA draft.  With the number 2 overall draft pick of Victor Oladipo, the Magic acquired a guard with star potential that hasn’t been sitting out with injuries or struggling to earn playing time.  However, at 6’4, the question still remains, is Oladipo a shooting guard or a point guard.

“There still is discussion, but I am just going out there and playing basketball,” Oladipo said.  “Wherever they want me to play, whatever position they want me to play, I am just going to go out there and do it to the best of my ability, continue to keep going at the point guard position and at the shooting guard position and just keep going as a player overall.”

After 3 years in college, Oladipo was probably more NBA ready than some of the less experienced draft picks and it shows in his averages of 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.7 steals, but like all young players those numbers come with wild fluctuations.  After scoring 23 points in a win over Indiana in early February, Oladipo had 3 subpar games in a row followed by a 30 point 9 rebound 14 assist effort in a win over the Knicks.  It is obvious, the rookie has a lot of room left to grow.

“I still have a lot of room for improvement,” Oladipo said.  “I just have to keep getting better, keep growing and keep believing in myself.  A big thing is to never let my confidence waiver, continue to have my teammates back and I know they believe in me too, just going out and playing hard for them.”

Part of this is just inexperience and getting used to teams game-planning for him.  The defenders are better at the NBA level and Oladipo will just have to go through the same adjustment period everyone else has coming into the league.

“Everybody guards me different,” Oladipo said.  “It is something that I am really going to have to adjust to.  I always watch film after games and take in how teams guard me so I can be better prepared and the next time I play them, they might do something totally different.  It is just something you just have to keep building and a lot of it has to do with experience, so I just try to go out and play hard every night and gain that experience.”

As long as he keeps working hard and believes in himself, Oladipo should develop into the star player Orlando envisioned when they drafted him – at whatever position he ends up playing.

“A lot of it has to do with confidence, you definitely need that in order to be successful in this league,” Oladipo said.  “It’s really just going out there and playing hard and taking the shots that I feel are good shots, just playing at a high level at both ends, playing hard and trying to be aggressive.”


Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.


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