Magic vs. Pelicans Preview: Victor Oladipo Will Have Hands Full With New Orleans' Guards

By Ryan Heckman
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2013 season underway, the Orlando Magic look like a team that will scratch and claw for any win they get this year. Not a team that will be contending for a championship, of course, the Magic are looking for consistent improvement from their young core going into the future.

Friday night they take on the new-look New Orleans Pelicans who are absolutely loaded at guard. This offseason, the Pelicans brought in point guard Jrue Holiday and shooting guard Tyreke Evans to pair with Eric Gordon.

Magic rookie Victor Oladipo will be responsible in part for taking on the responsibility of guarding these guys on Friday. In his first game as a pro against the Minnesota Timerwolves, Oladipo played 37 minutes, went 5-for-14 from the floor and finished with 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and a block. He also had four turnovers.

Oladipo will take on the tandem of Holiday, Gordon and Evans that combined for 53 points in their opener against the Indiana Pacers (only four from Evans). In what will be great experience right off the bat for Oladipo, Gordon and Holiday specifically could give him fits.

Oladipo has played some point guard for the Magic in both summer league and preseason and could definitely end up doing the same during the regular season. Because of his versatility defensively, he matches up well against both two guards and point guards, thus his probability of guarding either of these three talented guards.

For the Magic to win on Friday, Oladipo will be a reason why especially on defense. Coming out of college, he was one of the top defenders — if not the top defender — at the guard position. The Magic definitely appreciated that about him. Looked at as one of the more NBA-ready guys in the draft class, Oladipo will have to show his worth against these guys against New Orleans.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for RantSports.comFollow him on Twitter  @ryanmheckman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.



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