Victor Oladipo had zero 30 point games as a member of the “Russell Westbrook Has No Help In OKC” team last season. On Friday, the former number two pick (for a reason) put up his fourth 30-point game of this season, knocked down the biggest shot of the game for the second time in two days, ended the Cavs 13-game winning streak and gave the Pacers their 9th win in the past 12 games.
“You’ve got to take away the head of the snake, and that’s been Paul George and now it’s Oladipo,” Said LeBron James after the Cavs second loss to the Pacers this season. “They’ve given (him) the confidence, no matter make or miss. He missed three or four straight 3s — some of them didn’t hit the rim, some of them hit the backboard — but they’ve given him the confidence, keep taking`em. Then he makes the (one) to kind of put it away.”
Instead of celebrating at the final buzzer, Oladipo was upset at himself for missing half (5-of-10) of his free throws, including one-of-two in the final minute.
“I’m going to shoot a thousand free throws.” Oladipo said during a postgame interview. “It’s still something I got to work on I guess. I got to work real hard to make sure I can go up and make two free throws for my team. I got to do better.”
You can bet the Cavs are trying to figure out what they can do better against this team. Back in November, the Cavs were beaten by the Pacers 124-107. Oladipo had 23 points and 7 assists as part of a balanced attack that included 26 from Thad Young and 25 from Darren Collison.
I’m not calling the singing (check out his music if you haven’t) shooting guard a Cavs killer just because of these two games. If you flash back to March 17th of 2016, you might remember Oladipo in a Magic uni scoring a career-high 45 points on 16-of-22 shooting with six threes, five boards, three steals and two blocks in a six-point loss to the Cavs. LeBron missed nine of his 15 shots in this game but Kyrie Irving played hero with 10 of his 26 in the fourth.
Also worth mentioning is the February 9th of 2017 game between the Cavs and Thunder. OKC won 118-109 behind a triple-double (29/12/11) from Russell Westbrook and 23 points and 7 boards from Oladipo, who iced the game with a 360 layup (dunk fail).
I’m not sure what happened on this play but Oladipo has some of the most underrated hops in the league. LeBron learned that back in 2014, when he got away with this foul.