Denton: Oladipo Brushed Aside All Doubts


Former Magic coach and current Los Angeles Clippers coach Doc Rivers had a unique perspective on Oladipo’s growth because his sons, Jeremiah and Austin, were of similar age and also top college prospects. Many of Austin’s AAU teams played Victor’s, so Rivers watched as the long-armed kid from DeMatcha Catholic was improving. Also, Jeremiah’s senior season in college was Oladipo’s freshman campaign at Indiana.

``He was probably the third- or fourth-best player (on his AAU team) his junior year. His senior year, he was probably the second-best player. By his freshman year in college he was better than all of those guys,’’ Rivers raved. ``A lot of it is athleticism, but a lot of it is his work ethic.’’

Oladipo’s rookie season has been filled with plenty of highs and lows so far, something that has challenged his patience. He helped Orlando demolish Brooklyn on Nov. 3 with 19 points, six rebounds and a 360-degree dunk off a steal. And recently he had consecutive 18-points games in wins against Atlanta and Philadelphia.

But the transition to point guard has also been marred by errors. Through 16 games, he’s averaging more turnovers per game (4.0) than assists (3.5). He’s had games with nine, eight (twice) and seven turnovers. And he’s seen his turnover numbers climb as he’s been hit with charging fouls and plays where he’s accidentally fallen on drives to the rim.