Victor Oladipo is a lot of fun.
Everywhere he’s gone, his teammates love playing with him, and it’s easy to see why. He’s an explosive athlete who plays with a ton of passion – an awesome combination.
The Orlando Magic are 10-29 as we reach the time of year when bad teams fall into ruts. It can get miserable playing out the rest of the season when you know the playoffs are virtually impossible.
But Oladipo is still providing joy, even to a veteran teammate who once helped the Magic reach heights he surely knows this edition has no chance of even nearing.
Jameer Nelson, via Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel:
“One thing about Vic: He’s faster than a hiccup, man!” Nelson said after the game. “Did you see how fast he gets to that basket? When you blink, he’s gone. He just takes advantage of the seams, and he’s doing a better job of recognizing what’s going on, how teams are playing him. He made some good shots and some good plays for us tonight.
“He has to stay in attack mode, whether it’s for himself or for the rest of the team. We believe in him. He’s a guy [for whom] we put the ball in his hands a lot. He’s going to have his growing pains, just like anybody else. But that’s what it’s about. It’s about us, when he does have those growing pains, picking him up and not getting discouraged.”
That’s quite the simile and definitely one I’ll put in my back pocket. But former Negro League player/manager Buck O’Neil still has my all-time favorite description of a speedy player. Joe Posnanski:
I think of Buck O’Neil and what he used to say whenever someone would ask him: How fast WAS Cool Papa Bell anyway? Buck would smile and say: “Faster than that.”
New York Knicks C Joakim Noah has an awkward jumper and free throw technique, there’s no denying that. His two-handed, horizontal approach to shooting a basketball is ripe for criticism.
DeMarcus Cousins thinks so, at least.
During a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Knicks, Cousins decided to give Noah a little tongue-in-cheek trolling about his form.
Looks about right.
The 1980s were back in Cleveland Friday night. Well, not completely, Bernie Kosar wasn’t leading the Browns to contention (although man, could they use him now).
No, the ’80s were back in the form of the throwback orange Cavaliers uniforms. And to complete the theme, the Cavaliers players dressed up and Rick-rolled the intro video — they did the complete “classic” Rick Astley hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” And it was awesome.
The Cavaliers won the game 114-84 over the Heat behind 28 from Kevin Love, but that was secondary to the intro video.
Second-year forward Sam Dekker is finding a comfort zone in the Mike D’Antoni offense in Houston. Healthy this season, he is coming off the bench for 18 minutes a night, and his game where he is quick and can also hit the three is fitting perfectly with Houston’s system, leading him to 6.7 points a game.
Also, he can run the floor. And finish.
As Enes Kanter found out when he hustled, got back in transition defense, and wasn’t going to stop Dekker from getting to the rim.
That’s a quality dunk.
The Rockets went on to win the game 102-99, despite Russell Westbrook‘s seventh-straight triple-double.
LeBron James has been climbing the NBA’s All-time scoring list fast the past couple years, passing Hakeem Olajuwon last season to move into the top 10.
Friday night LeBron passed another legend, Elvin Hayes, who spent the prime of his career with the Washington Bullets and was an NBA champion, six-time All-NBA and 12-time All-Star from the late 1960s through the early 1980s.
LeBron passed Hayes with a vintage LeBron bucket, bringing the ball up in transition, then just using his quickness and strength to power to the rim.
LeBron’s not done, he should pass Moses Malone in the next week or so. Here is the NBA’s All-time scoring Top 10. (As a side note, if you count ABA scoring in the mix LeBron is 11th because Julius Erving and Dan Issel both pass him. For now.)
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38387
2. Karl Malone 36928
3. Kobe Bryant 33643
4. Michael Jordan 32292
5. Wilt Chamberlain 31419
6. Dirk Nowitzki 29552
7. Shaquille O’Neal 28596
8. Moses Malone 27409
9. LeBron James 27315
10. Elvin Hayes 27313