Oladipo finished with 105 points in the voting, putting him firmly on the Third Team with Stephen Curry, Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, and Paul George. Oladipo received 24 Second Team votes and 33 Third Team votes, though none for the First Team. The team votes are below:
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has been unanimously selected to the 2017-18 All-NBA First Team, giving him an NBA-record 12 First Team honors in his 15-year career.— NBA.com/Stats (@nbastats) May 24, 2018
James has passed Kobe Bryant and Karl Malone, who both finished with 11 First Team selections. pic.twitter.com/NKOgowUenw
There’s no question Oladipo deserved to be a part of the All-NBA Teams after scoring 23.1 points per game and leading the league in steals while leading the Pacers to the NBA Playoffs. However, the timing of these releases become more perplexing as a regular season award when they’re being named halfway through the Conference Finals.
That has only led to voter remorse as players like Chris Paul received 54 votes, the same amount as George, but due to fewer second team votes, was left off the All-NBA Team. As a regular season award, this makes sense: Paul missed 24 games this season, so it wasn’t a real surprise voters looked the success and availability of players like George and Damian Lillard and rewarded them thusly.
Seeing Paul continue to play at a great level, within one game of the NBA Finals, while Lillard was swept out in the first round and George mulls his free agency options makes what was taking place six weeks ago seem rather trivial in regards to the timing of these awards.
That applies to Oladipo as well. It’s unlikely he would have moved up to the Second Team as he finished 59 points behind Curry and 60 behind DeMar DeRozan, but seeing Oladipo close strong after a rough stretch and take LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games while DeRozan floundered in a sweep could have vaulted Oladipo to the top of the Third Team guards.
As it stands, it’s still a remarkable accomplishment for someone who was not considered within the top 15 players of the league heading into the 2017-18 season and it will give Oladipo plenty to strive for in looking to become the first Indiana Pacers player to reach Second Team or higher since Jermaine O’Neal in 2004.