The Orlando Magic are in for another tough season this year, with even the most optimistic fans resigning themselves to the fact that another trip to the NBA lottery next year is highly probable. So let’s allow ourselves to look down the line a good bit, say maybe three or four years.
Should the core of this team still be intact, and it is still so young and full of potential that is surely what the management want, will a team with Victor Oladipo as it’s best player really break through into the Eastern Conference elite?
It’s hard to tell now of course, but coming at this issue by looking at the future before the present, maybe we are expecting too much of this guy? Yes Oladipo was the second pick in the 2013 NBA draft.
But we all know that was one of the weaker drafts in recent years. His rookies campaign was great, with averages of 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists.This year he will be even better, that much is a certainty. But it is about when this team is relevant again in a few years, is Oladipo really the kind of player a team wants as its No. 1 guy?
Let’s rewind to this present moment. Oladipo is already probably the best player on this Magic team.
He does a little bit of everything, and scores the ball in a variety of ways. Defensively he is not outstanding, but he pulls his weight and uses his athleticism to at least make an effort on the court when guarding his opponent.
The fans love him, and would be more than happy to see him be “the guy” as the years tick over. He’s got the right character and the exciting kind of ability fans like to be the face of a franchise.
But wouldn’t this guy be better suited as being the second or third option on a team hoping to go deep into the playoffs? We’re getting ahead of ourselves because it is all right for Oladipo to be the go to guy right now, this is a growing team and it can only be good for him as a player as well.
But for a fan base still trying to get over the Dwight Howard divorce and all the hurt that Superman caused, are they trying to latch onto false idols in the hope that a brighter future is much closer than those in the know routinely tell them is still some time away from coming to fruition?
None of this is Oladipo’s fault, or even the fans’. It is jut a product of the environment that both player and organisation currently find themselves in.
This is why the fear is there that too much is being placed on Oladipo’s shoulders. Scrimmaging against Team USA a couple of weeks back would have been nice for the confidence.
Working out with Dwyane Wade this week will have done him no harm either, their games have some similarities about them. But at the same time we must not read too much into these things either.
Oladipo may never play international basketball, nor is he guaranteed to morph into the next D-Wade and win championships. He doesn’t have to either, and really that’s the point here.
Oladipo the attacking threat who does a bit of everything on the court would be much more effective if a superstar level player was getting double-teamed for large portions of a game.
Right now this isn’t really an issue, but it will be before long. This year Orlando can win 30 to 35 games with Oladipo averaging 17 and seven, and people will accept that this is a team going in the right direction.
But before long the time will come where making the playoffs won’t just be viewed as a bonus. It will be a basic requirement.
Be honest with yourself, can you see Oladipo being the superstar on any team that does make it back to the playoffs with the Magic?
We’ll say it one more time for those who feel Oladipo is being degraded horribly here; this is not his or anybody else’s fault, it is simply the situation the player has found himself in. Only one year in, it would seem the guy has All-Star level talent in him, we saw enough flashes last season to believe one day he can play in that marquee exhibition matchup.
But it is about fans expecting him to do the heaviest lifting for an organization as it fights it’s way back to the top of the pile. Given the opportunity, would he be your go-to guy in five years with a game on the line?