Denton's Dish: The 5th Quarter (2/21/14)


By John Denton
Feb. 21, 2014

ORLANDO – Here are five takeaways from the Orlando Magic’s thrilling 129-121 defeat of the New York Knicks Friday at the Amway Center:


Oladipo reeled off one story after another from his childhood days late Friday night, telling how he had been doubted as a basketball player since he was 5 years old. He talked about ``not being good enough’’ to play on a Pre-K team when he was 5 and being told ``don’t dribble the ball’’ when he was in ninth grade.

All of that doubting along the way, Magic coach Jacque Vaughn said, fuels Oladipo’s high-octane motor. He revved the engines in Friday’s second half to allow the Magic to wipe out a 14-point deficit and win in overtime for the first time this season.

Oladipo finished one rebound shy of his second career triple-double with 30 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds. He repeatedly willed the Magic in the tense moments of the game by contributing 25 points and 10 assists in the second half and the two OTs. Raved veteran point guard Jameer Nelson: ``He has a motor. A lot of people don’t have the same motor he has. He just keeps coming.’’

Vaughn said that Oladipo has used his past to keep himself grounded, hungry and pushing for more this season.

``He’s earned everything he’s received, and that’s the gist of it,’’ Vaughn said. ``Whether people are doubting him, whether it’s where he’s come from; how he got to Indiana, how he got to here, he’s earned it. That’s the mentality that he has to continue to use to keep driving him.

``I think that’s why he’s able to overcome certain situations in the course of the game,’’ Vaughn continued. ``He’s had people doubt him and not pull for him, and he’s managed to overcome it.’’