2013-14 Season Review: Victor Oladipo
By John Denton
April 28, 2014
ORLANDO – The Orlando Magic made great strides during the 2013-14 season, notching several wins against some of the best teams in the NBA and witnessing major improvements by many of their players.
Orlando had a seven-win improvement at the Amway Center this past season while beating Oklahoma City, Indiana, Brooklyn (twice), the Los Angeles Clippers and Portland. Undoubtedly, the high point in the season came in mid-February when Orlando beat OKC at the buzzer and outlasted Indiana in the fourth quarter within a three-day span. At the time, the Thunder and the Pacers were the leaders in the Western and Eastern Conferences, respectively.
Moments like those showed that the future is bright for a Magic squad loaded with promising young players such as Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic, Tobias Harris and Maurice Harkless and steadied by the veteran leadership of Arron Afflalo and Jameer Nelson.
Orlando is also expected to add to his talent base in the June 26 NBA Draft. Orlando has secured the third-best odds at getting the top overall pick. The draft order will be determined in the May 20 NBA lottery, a process in which the Magic have a 16.6 percent chance of winning. The team with the third-best odds has won the NBA Draft Lottery each of the past two seasons (New Orleans with Anthony Davis and Cleveland with Anthony Bennett) and teams have won the lottery from the third spot eight times in the past 17 years.
The Magic have won the NBA’s top overall pick three times in their 25-year history, ending up with franchise fixtures Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway and Dwight Howard.
Looking back on the 2013-14 season, we here at OrlandoMagic.com are going to spend the next three weeks breaking down each of the players currently on the Magic roster. We’ll look at their stats, highs and lows from the season, a favorite moment and analyze their role for the future.
So without further ado, here is today’s Magic player capsule:
NAME: Victor Oladipo
JERSEY NUMBER: 5
HEIGHT, WEIGHT: 6-4, 215
NBA SEASONS: 1
2013-14 SEASON STATS: 80 games, 13.8 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 4.1 apg., 1.6 spg., 41.9 percent FG, 32.7 percent 3FG, 78 percent FT.
2013-14 SEASON HIGHS: 35 points (Jan. 15 vs. Bulls); 12 rebounds (Jan. 24 vs. Lakers); 14 assists (Feb. 21 vs. Knicks); 5 steals (four times – most recent Feb. 23 at Raptors); 3 blocks (two times – most recent Dec. 13 vs. Cavaliers); 57 minutes (Jan. 15 vs. Bulls).
BEST MOMENT: Oladipo had games where he scored more points and notched higher statistical accomplishments, but his finest all-around effort of the season came on Feb. 21 against the New York Knicks. That night, Oladipo shook off a slow start and scored 30 points, handed out 14 assists and grabbed nine rebounds. Incredibly, he turned the ball over just three times in 49 minutes on the floor. He had 25 points and 10 assists after halftime to will the Magic to the overtime victory. In all, he made 11 of 23 shots, hit two 3-pointers and buried all six of his free throws. HONORABLE MENTION: On Jan. 15 in a triple-overtime game against the Chicago Bulls, Oladipo scored 35 points – the most he’s ever had at any level of basketball, he said. He also had eight assists and three steals in a staggering 57 minutes. HONORABLE MENTION, PART II: On Dec. 3 in Philadelphia, he notched the first triple-double of his career with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He and Michael Carter-Williams became the first rookies in NBA history to have triple-doubles in the same game.
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Oladipo was nearly as active off the court during his rookie season as he was on it, taking part in 26 charitable events throughout the Central Florida community over the past year. Oladipo conducted a kids camp at a Chase Court refurbishment in October, served Thanksgiving breakfast to those at the Coalition for the Homeless and took part in the Magic and Pepsi Co Youth Holiday Shopping Spree in December. Oladipo also conducted four meet-and-greet events with local children with disabilities and he repeatedly met with Indiana University alumni during road trips. Also, Oladipo can be seen on commercials throughout the playoffs supporting the NBA’s ``Go Green’’ campaign.
FUTURE ROLE WITH THE MAGIC: The Magic appear to have hit a home run with the No. 2 pick in last June’s NBA Draft with Oladipo, who proved to be the kind of player that the team can build around for years to come. The Magic threw a lot of things at Oladipo – he started 44 games, came off the bench 36 times and split time at shooting guard and point guard – and he handled it all with professionalism. His future position is still very much up in the air, but the Magic are convinced that Oladipo will be able to thrive whether he’s a shooting guard or a point guard. He has the kind of work ethic and drive to succeed that the Magic love and they are convinced that he will put in the time to improve his skills. Becoming a better pick-and-roll playmaker so as to reduce his turnovers and improving his outside shot are two areas that Oladipo will work on this offseason. He is well aware that if he can become better than a 41.9 percent shooter and 32.7 percent shooter from 3-point range that defenders will have to respect his jump shot more and it will make his blinding quickness off the dribble even more of a weapon. Orlando certainly has a keeper in Oladipo and he only figures to get better as he gets deeper into his NBA career.