Kehinde Babatunde Victor Oladipo will always be connected to Domantas Sabonis thanks to the trade with the two of them and superstar Paul George. For the moment, though, they are connected in a different way. They are now the two lone all-star level players on an Indiana team that is the definition of resilience in a tough fight for playoff seeding in the East.
With Oladipo out, Sabonis had his chance to take over, and so he did, registering his first career all-star appearance as one of the league’s most versatile offensive Power Forwards. But sadly for Domantas, his time is running out, as very soon Oladipo will be back to commanding the offense and orchestrating the defense as it was last season.
He just may need a little bit of time first.
In ‘Dipo’ s first 8 games, calling him rusty would be a nice way to put it. He’s shot 33% from the field and 25% from three, but even so, not many players light the world on fire 12 months after having last set foot on the hardwood.
Ignoring the shot percentages, scoring and all box score numbers, the eye test has played in Oladipo’s favour. His pick and roll passing looks better than ever. He is still marshalling attackers around the perimeter like a jaguar toying with it’s prey. And, of course, he is still making the big shots when they matter most...
Sadly, an injury in Oladipo’s back sidelined him for the last two games, although he’ll be back to take on the Trail Blazers tonight. And while he may not shoot well, pay attention to the rest of his game and you’ll understand why he was one of the top players in the league pre-injury.