The 2013 NBA Draft was supposed to be a weak one, and No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett's historically bad season hasn't represented the class well. But Victor Oladipo, the second pick, has shown promise in his rookie season and will get a chance to show off his talents tonight against the Bulls on CSN.
Oladipo was expected to take on a starting role alongside Jameer Nelson in the Magic's backcourt, and while Arron Afflalo's All-Star-caliber season has slowed the Indiana guard some, he's still performing up to part with the rest of his fellow rookies.
Oladipo again will be in the starting lineup tonight, as Afflalo continues to rest an inured foot. In Oladipo's last six games -- four starts -- he's averaging 15.2 points on 43 percent shooting. The Magic are 0-6 in that span and have dropped 14 of 17, but Oladipo continues to show improvement and provide highlight reel plays that show he's part of Orlando's future.
After a stellar Summer League in Orlando -- he averaged 19 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2.3 assists and was a First Team selection -- it was thought that Oladipo may see time at point guard, playing a Russell Westbrook-type role at 6-foot-5. He's played primarily off the ball in his first season, yet his 3.9 assists per game are third on the team. It's an uptick from the 1.7 helpers he averaged in three seasons at Indiana, and it's allowing head coach Jacque Vaughn to use him in different lineups.
Expect Oladipo to get serious run tonight at home as the Magic look to break their losing streak and the Bulls look to get back to their winning ways after their five-game winning streak was halted against Washington on Monday. You can catch all the action tonight on Comcast SportsNet, beginning at 6 p.m. After the game we'll have highlights, analysis and reaction from Tom Thibodeau in Bulls Postgame Live. Stay interactive all night, too, with Bulls Pulse, using #BullsTalk to join the conversation.