Denton: NBA Rookies Struggling Shooting in Early Portion of Season


``I think young guys realize how long and athletic the guys guarding you are,’’ Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said of the adjustment that NBA rookies have to make. ``Shots that you used to get in college, it’s a little more difficult for you to get those shots now. Even if it’s a simple layup at the rim, we’ve got some great shot-blockers in this league to contest the shot. Even simple layups are difficult.’’

Oladipo, who ranks third on the Magic in scoring at 13.3 points per game, suffered through a forgettable one of 12 shooting night on Wednesday in the Magic’s 86-82 loss to the Utah Jazz. In an attempt to slow down the 6-foot-4 Oladipo, Utah used 6-foot-8 forward Gordon Hayward to guard him most of the night. And when Oladipo did drive to create space, 6-foot-10, 258-pound power forward Derrick Favors was usually there to meet him at the rim.

Oladipo has also had some stellar shooting nights, recently making nine of 13 shots and three of four 3-point tries in a stellar 26-point performance against Cleveland. He initially chalked up Wednesday’s bad performance to him simply missing shots that he normally makes. But Oladipo also went to the film room on Thursday to look at each one of his shots.

As he’s done since June when Oladipo was the No. 2 pick in the NBA Draft by the Magic, Vaughn sat in with the guard on his film session. Vaughn showed Oladipo several scenarios from the game and the two of them talked about what transpired and what the rookie could have done differently.

``The growth comes from what were you thinking at this time, options that you might have had and if you’re in this position again what are you going to look for?’’ Vaughn said of the conversations he has with Oladipo. ``It’s a litany of things and an opportunity for him to ask questions as well. I just think it’s great to keep the lines of communication open.’’

Oladipo said that if he’s learned anything in the NBA, it’s that he has to move on from games – good or bad – as soon as they are over. Just as he did last week when he burned the Cavs for 26 points, he brushed off Wednesday’s three-point night and turned his focus to the upcoming matchup against McLemore and the Kings.

``You’ve got to let (bad shooting nights) go, especially in this league,’’ he said. ``If you let it build up and stay with you, you’re not going to play well the next game, I think. That (Wednesday) game is gone and you’ve got to move on. I’m not worried about it and I’m focused on the next game.’’


Follow John Denton on Twitter here