After Victor Oladipo got here up massive but once more down the stretch in Indiana’s comeback win over Denver on Sunday, Pacers head coach Nate McMillan stated it’s Oladipo’s constructive perspective within the locker room that makes the distinction.
“He’s simply such a pleasure to work with,” McMillan stated by way of Fox Sports activities Indiana after the sport. “I didn’t know a lot about him earlier than the commerce and since coming right here, the child simply brings such a constructive perspective to the locker room, to the sport. He’s enjoying with an excessive amount of confidence.
“Folks like that, good issues are gonna occur for them. He’s going about this the best approach. He is available in, he works on his recreation. He’s all about workforce.”
Oladipo, after scoring 32 second-half factors — together with eight of the Pacers’ closing 10 fourth-quarter factors and 6 in time beyond regulation — credit score his teammates. He could have set a brand new career-high with 47 factors on 15-of-28 taking pictures, however Indiana’s new star didn’t take an excessive amount of credit score.
As an alternative, he handed it round.
“My teammates had been phenomenal as we speak. These guys are superb,” he stated. “How a lot progress they’ve gotten over the week and over the yr thus far, and the way are chemistry is. And the way guys simply raise one another up.
“That is essentially the most constructive locker room I’ve ever been part of, and it’s unimaginable. … We simply raise one another up. These guys over right here, man. It’s a particular group. It’s a particular workforce, man, and I’m simply honored to be part of it.”
The Indiana Pacers are again, and it’s not the best way most anticipated.
Many thought it might take just a few seasons to rebound from the Paul George commerce. Followers checked out Oladipo’s manufacturing alongside Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma Metropolis, and when his numbers didn’t match up with the four-year, $84 million contract extension he signed, they glossed over his identify.
I gained’t lie: I did, too.
However Oladipo has proved the doubters incorrect. After setting a brand new profession excessive, he’s averaging 24.5 factors — the most effective of his profession — and the Pacers are flourishing because of this. Indiana is 16-11, simply behind the Bucks for a top-four seed within the East.
If that doesn’t get you excited, I’m unsure what’s going to. As for Oladipo, nicely, McMillan thinks the man’s gonna be a star.
“What you may have seen this season, it’s not egocentric play,” he stated. “He’s enjoying inside the framework of our workforce. He’s shifting the ball. However he’s taking and making massive pictures. That is what we had been hoping to develop: any such participant that sooner or later might be a franchise participant.”
Different issues that occurred on Sunday
Sunday’s NBA scores
Pacers 126, Nuggets 116