As Kevin Pritchard tells it, the day after Indiana’s Game 7 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers, he arrived early at the team’s practice facility, at around 7:30 AM, to get in a workout and while he was riding one of the stationary bikes he noticed he wasn’t alone.
Victor Oladipo was there, too — getting up around 200 shots, lifting weights, and making good on his public refusal to take time off.
“That’s great for him, and we know that that’s Victor,” Pritchard explained. “but, let me ask you this, what does that do for every other player on our team?
“If every player on our team knows that we have a great human being who is our greatest worker but also our greatest player, you better fall in line, or you don’t look right.”
Count Myles Turner among the rank and file.
It’s only been five weeks, but the 22-year-old starting center with the feathery mid-range jump shot looks well on his way to getting impressively cut ahead of the final season of his rookie contract.
If the before and after shots of his dramatic transformation look familiar, it’s probably because it appears that he took a page out of Victor Oladipo’s playbook.
After slimming down and toning up, the high-octane guard took his athletic potential to the next level in his debut season with the Pacers —- notching career numbers in every statistical category while leading the league in steals, coming through in the clutch, and earning his first All-Star selection — by pairing skills with the sustainable agility he reaped from his relentless dedication to his training regimen.
As such, adding the much-needed strength necessary to avoid getting bullied by more imposing frames is a step in the right direction, but Turner also needs to broaden his offensive repertoire and mature in his understanding of where he is on the floor in relation to his teammates to make an Oladipo-like leap.
Doing as the feathery guard does, however, is a solid launch point.