Indiana Pacers

The Whiteboard: Victor Oladipo needs to prove he’s a star this season

Victor Oladipo carried the Indiana Pacers like a star player last season, but he needs another strong campaign to firm up his spot in the best of the best.

This is not an indictment on Victor Oladipo. It’s important to note that upfront. Oladipo is awesome, and he was very clearly one of the best players in the NBA during the 2017-18 NBA season and in the following postseason.

Only one NBA player managed to average at least 23 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals per game last season. As you probably guessed, it was Victor Oladipo. Dipo was able to contribute to all aspects of the game, and he also led the league in steals per game.

Oladipo’s fifth season was easily his best. Now, he’s going to have to put up another strong season to prove that this last one wasn’t a flash in the pan. Luckily for the Hoosier guard, some signs seem to indicate he’s up an upwards trajectory.

His three-point shooting, field goal percentage, and true shooting percentage have all steadily trended upwards over Oladipo’s five season career. Oladipo’s scoring trended up from his rookie to sophomore season with the Orlando Magic, stagnated for two years with the Oklahoma City Thunder, then obviously shot up with Indiana.

A constant growth over his NBA career would obviously been a great sign for Oladipo, but some consideration has to be given to the situation he was in in Oklahoma City. Playing next to Russell Westbrook isn’t easy, especially for another ball-dominant guard. Dennis Schroder will learn this soon. 

The 2018-19 NBA season will be a proving ground for Oladipo. The signs point to the fun shooting guard being able to cement his status as a legitimate star, but nothing in the NBA is guaranteed. For the Pacers’ sake, hopefully Oladipo uses his opportunity to dominate the rest of the Eastern Conference.

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