You’ve probably already seen it, but let's show it again.
A great start to the week. 3 more ahead.— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) October 30, 2017
Tue - vs. Kings
Wed - @ Cavs
Fri - @ Sixers pic.twitter.com/omFnjO2kl0
Victor Oladipo has been the catalyst behind an unexpected 3-3 start from the Indiana Pacers. They’ve already beaten two projected playoff teams in Minnesota and San Antonio. Indiana may have been blown out once, but it was on the second night of a long back-to-back.
Oladipo has carried the Pacers at the end of games. He has 34 fourth-quarter points including 13 against the Spurs on Sunday. He’s currently the eighth leading scorer in the league, averaging 25.5 points per game.
Indiana has relied on him because, outside of Domantas Sabonis, Oladipo been their most consistent player. It’s probably too early to tell but at some point, pundits will have to stop looking at Oladipo’s stats as an aberration and start admitting he’s as a top seven shooting guard in the league.
The only problem, besides sample size, with Oladipo stats is he’s only played one game with Myles Turner, the other centerpiece of Indiana’s offense. You can look at Turner’s absence in two ways: Either Oladipo is scoring despite being the only real offensive threat, which allows defenses to lock in on him, or Turner’s absence has allowed Oladipo to take more shots, which has led to his higher scoring.
The encouraging part of Oladipo’s stats is they have come from efficiency, not high volume shooting. He’s averaging less than 17 shots per game and his season high for shots taken is 22.
Oladipo spent all offseason getting in better shape when he'd thought he would be the sidekick to Russell Westbrook.
By decreasing an athletes inflammation and body fat it's going to increase their energy, help them recover faster, and allow them to perform at optimal levels. This in addition to teaching proper mechanics, well that creates an athlete that will out perform his opponent every time. OKC THUNDER @vicoladipo only 3 weeks into his offseason with me, down 10 pounds and exceeding all my expectations of him. #WhereDoYouTrain #ChangingTheGame #Biomechanics #SportsPerformance #Miami #DBCSYSTEM
Despite being traded all that offseason hard work clearly paid off. Once the Pacers acquired him they built a lineup and an offense around his speed and Turner's ability to stretch the floor. Indiana decided to play fast because of Oladipo's superb athleticism. It’s worked: Indiana is sixth in pace of play and fourth in both fast break points and offensive efficiency.
Even when Turner returns, his stats should only drop slightly. He might go down to 15 shots per game and his shooting percent will also drop slightly because his current three-point shooting rate is not sustainable. But a lot of his points are easy points. He’s averaging 7.2 free throws and will continue to get easy layups from fast breaks.
Oladipo might not be a 25 ppg player by Christmas, but by the All-Star break, he’s almost guaranteed to average 20. If the Pacers are even sniffing playoff contention by that point, he’ll receive his first All-Star invitation.