The Indiana Pacers introduced several of their new players Friday including Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison. Pacers President Kevin Pritchard started off the press conference by mentioning Paul George. “We wish him the best and that’s not a cliche. We really wish him the best. He’ll have a great year in Oklahoma City and then who knows where he goes.” Pritchard went on to say that this was a rebirth of sorts for Indiana and that they were excited about their future.
“One of the things we looked at in the beginning of this process was we wanted tough kids, we wanted guys who play together, and we wanted smart kids,” Pritchard said. “We wanted flyers out there.” There is no doubt the Pacers got what they were looking for in Oladipo. At just 25, he is already a scrappy defender with the ability to leap out of the gym.
When Oladipo was introduced, the genuine excitement was apparent. He referred to Indiana as home right out of the gate and never wavered in that sentiment. “This is where it all started for me.” Oladipo finished his statement in a way that could only be described as a long-missing attitude at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, looking directly at the camera with a smile on his face as he exclaimed, “I’m a Hoosier. Living, breathing, any way you can imagine, I’m a Hoosier.”
Later in the press conference when Collison took the mic, he boldly stated, “Victor, to me, can be a very, very special player in this league. Sometimes, it just takes opportunities and the right situation to take off. I’ve been watching his game for a long time and I think this is a situation where he can take off.”
Oladipo has actually been very consistent year over year and has shown improvement in several crucial areas such as turnovers and field goal percentage. Remember folks, this is a player who just spent a season with the reigning MVP in Oklahoma City; he didn’t have the opportunity to touch the ball a lot.
Last season, Oladipo averaged 46.7 touches per game, putting him into the same category as guys like Zach Randolph and Tyreke Evans. To his credit, Oladipo had a higher points per touch average than the majority of the league, even slightly edging out Westbrook himself.
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