Sometimes, it’s not proper in the NBA to put too much pressure on a rookie. After all, they are rookies and there’s a limit to what they can do in the league. Expectations can be high, but not too high.
But as many rookies like Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers have shown, what a first-year player does in his initial season will usually be a strong indicator whether or not he’s going to be successful in the NBA. It’s not often that a rookie is a bust in his first season, but then goes on to a stellar career.
Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo seems to have passed the test in that regard. He’s averaging 12.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game in the Magic’s first 28 contests. That’s decent, and the Magic don’t regret picking Oladipo in the draft, nor should they. It appears he’s going to be a decent NBA performer.
He has had his off nights as he demonstrated earlier in the week with a three-point game against the New York Knicks. He did not play in the second half after posting a plus/minus of minus-23 in 16 minutes.
Such a performance isn’t going to advance Oladipo in his rookie season. He’s not expected to carry the team, at least not now. The Magic have plenty of other exceptional talent than to make Orlando a winner in every game.
But the Magic need plenty of production and more consistency from Oladipo. Yes, he’s just a rookie, but he’s a highly-drafted rookie who needs to play that way in every game.