Hoosiers In The NBA: Oladipo Sweeps Round One Against Former Hoosiers

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Back when this column was just Zeller And Oladipo Watch, I used to go very in-depth when Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo faced off as it was very interesting to see two players who were once the closest of teammates to be facing off against each other as opponents. Well those two faced off for the first time this season and with a Magic win, Oladipo improved to 5-4 against Zeller. However it wasn’t Oladipo’s only game this week against a fellow Hoosier as two days later the Magic hosted the Portland Trail Blazers. The Magic won and now Oladipo is 3-0 this season against former Hoosiers. So this week I’m going to analyze these two games as well as the Magic’s early season win over Eric Gordon and the New Orleans Pelicans to see how Oladipo has swept his fellow Hoosier so far this season:

Orlando Magic @ New Orleans Pelicans (11/3/2015)
(Oladipo vs. Gordon)
Magic win 103-94
Oladipo: 12 points (4-8 FG), 7 rebounds, 3 assists, block, 2 turnovers, 2 personal fouls
Gordon: 21 points (8-19 FG), 2 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 turnovers, 2 personal fouls

This game was so long ago I almost didn’t want to include a recap about it but actually it is worth analyzing when you think about how much has changed for both Oladipo and Gordon over the past month and a half. Oladipo started and played 36 minutes in this game. The last time Oladipo played 36+ minutes was against the Indiana Pacers (38 minutes), which was only a week after the New Orleans game as well as the last game Oladipo played before he suffered a concussion that caused him to miss a few games. Meanwhile Gordon’s 19 shot attempts were only slightly higher than usual for him during the first 10 games (he averaged 16.2 field goal attempts) when the Pelicans were missing Tyreke Evans and were really limiting Jrue Holiday’s minutes. Since that hot ten-game start, Gordon has only attempted 11 shots per game.

The big takeaways from the game specifically is that Gordon’s four turnovers remain the most he’s had in a game this season and it was the first time this year Oladipo shot 50% or better from the floor.

Charlotte Hornets @ Orlando Magic (12/16/2015)
(Oladipo vs. Zeller IX)
Magic win 113-98
Oladipo: 11 points (5-9 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, steal, 3 turnovers, 2 personal fouls
Zeller: 11 points (3-3 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 personal fouls

Heading into this season, despite Zeller having better teams than Oladipo during their first two seasons, these former teammates had split the first eight games against each other. One other odd thing about this friendly rivalry is that they don’t play on the court at the same time that often and the trend continued this season as Zeller started in place of Al Jefferson while Oladipo has transitioned completely into the sixth man role.

Both players shot very well during the game, with Oladipo having only his third game this season where he shot over 50% while Zeller didn’t miss a single shot (he was also a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line). Despite both playing relatively well, the Magic were able to win comfortably because they were able to turn 16 Hornets turnovers into 25 points.

Portland Trail Blazers @ Orlando Magic (12/18/2015)
(Oladipo vs. Vonleh)
Magic win 102-94
Oladipo: 15 points (7-14 FG), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, block, 6 turnovers, 4 personal fouls
Vonleh: 4 points (2-4 FG), assist, personal foul

Unfortunately Vonleh only played 12 minutes so it never really felt like the two were playing against each other. As for Oladipo, this marked the game where Oladipo finally pushed his season shooting percentage north of 40% (only to shoot 2 of 11 in his next game) and marked the eighth time this season Oladipo hit 50% or better from the floor. Also, as you may have already noticed, three of those games came against former Hoosiers.

But what Oladipo really did that helped the Magic not only win this game but the Hornets game was his amazing defense. Check out this article to get an in-depth explanation of what exactly Oladipo is doing on defense. He may not be scoring or shooting as well as he did in his prior two NBA seasons but his defense is back to the level that made him a defensive monster at IU.

Of course it wouldn’t be a Hoosiers In The NBA article without each player’s game logs so here is a look at how each Hoosier performed this past week:

Eric Gordon: Guard, New Orleans Pelicans:

@ Portland (L 105-101): 9 points (3-9 FG)(3-3 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, turnover, 2 personal fouls, 34 minutes.

@ Utah (W 104-94): 19 points (5-9 FG)(5-5 FT), assist, steal, 3 turnovers, 4 personal fouls, 28 minutes.

@ Phoenix (L 104-88): 15 points (2-11 FG)(9-11 FT), rebound, assist, 2 steals, block, 2 turnovers, 3 personal fouls, 29 minutes.

@ Denver (W 130-125): 20 points (6-11 FG)(4-5 FT), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, block, turnover, personal foul, 32 minutes.

Victor Oladipo: Guard, Orlando Magic:

@ Brooklyn (W 105-82): 10 points (2-3 FG)(5-6 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, block, turnover, 4 personal fouls, 20 minutes.

Vs Charlotte (W 113-98): 11 points (5-9 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists, steal, 3 turnovers, 2 personal fouls, 25 minutes.

Vs Portland (W 102-94): 15 points (7-14 FG), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals, block, 6 turnovers, 4 personal fouls, 35 minutes.

Vs Atlanta (L 103-100): 4 points (2-11 FG), 6 assists, 2 steals, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 27 minutes.

Noah Vonleh: Forward, Portland Trail Blazers:

Vs New Orleans (W 105-101): 2 points (1-5 FG), 5 rebounds, assist, steal, block, 3 personal fouls, 17 minutes.

@ Oklahoma City (L 106-90): 2 points (0-2 FG)(2-2 FT), 7 rebounds, 3 personal fouls, 26 minutes.

@ Orlando (L 102-94): 4 points (2-4 FG), assist, personal foul, 12 minutes.

@ Miami (L 116-109): 2 points (1-4 FG), 3 rebounds, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 11 minutes.

Cody Zeller: Forward, Charlotte Hornets:

@ Orlando (L 113-98): 11 points (3-3 FG)(5-5 FT), 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, 2 personal fouls, 23 minutes.

Vs Toronto (W 109-99 OT): 5 points (2-6 FG)(1-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, turnover, 6 personal fouls, 21 minutes.

@ Washington (L 109-101): 11 points (5-9 FG)(1-2 FT), 7 rebounds, steal, block, turnover, 3 personal fouls, 26 minutes.

Season averages:

Eric Gordon: 16.0ppg, 2.1rpg, 2.6apg, 0.93spg, 0.26bpg, 1.6tpg, 2.2fpg, 40.4% FG, 35.5% 3FG, 87.4% FT, 33.2mpg.

Victor Oladipo: 13.4ppg, 5.2rpg, 3.9apg, 1.32spg, 0.84bpg, 2.0tpg, 2.4fpg, 39.6% FG, 27.2% 3FG, 79.7% FT, 29.7mpg.

Noah Vonleh: 3.0ppg, 3.4rpg, 0.4apg, 0.21spg, 0.24bpg, 0.7tpg, 1.9fpg, 41.4% FG, 23.1% 3FG, 81.3% FT, 14.6mpg.

Cody Zeller: 8.1ppg, 4.8rpg, 1.0apg, 0.79spg, 0.54bpg, 0.8tpg, 2.8fpg, 48.9% FG, 0.0% 3FG, 71.1% FT, 22.2mpg.

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