Victor Oladipo can’t be pleased with the Magic‘s decision to move him to the bench, despite the team-first comments he’s made to the media, posits Brian Schmitz of the Orlando Sentinel. The former No. 2 overall pick who’ll become eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer is averaging 20.0 points per game in his three appearances as a reserve, and the team has gone 3-0 in those games, leading Schmitz to wonder if the move will be for the long term.
“We got to stick with what works,” coach Scott Skiles said. “[Oladipo] has been so good in that role. We’ll keep him out there until it doesn’t work.”
Skiles has proven to have the right touch so far for the 9-8 Magic, Schmitz observes, nonetheless noting that the future for the team’s personnel isn’t in quite as sharp a focus as it was before the move. See more on the Magic amid the latest from the Southeast Division:
- Al Horford, set for free agency at season’s end, finds it odd to be going up against former college coach Billy Donovan, whose Thunder visit the Hawks for a game tonight, notes Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “He always encourages guys to work hard,” Horford said of Donovan. “He really pushes you beyond what you think you can accomplish. A lot of the time with his players, we get that we are on one level but he gets you to another level. That’s what he did with me at least. He gave me that confidence, that ability, for me to take that next step.”
- Tyler Hansbrough is averaging a career-low 5.0 minutes per game and doesn’t figure to be much more than a bit player for the Hornets after signing a one-year, minimum-salary deal in the offseason, but the team will surely need him sooner or later, opines Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observer. He and Al Jefferson are the only healthy Hornets players who play a physical style, Sorensen observes.
- The Magic have assigned Devyn Marble to the D-League, the team announced. Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel first reported the move would take place (Twitter link). It’s the first time the 56th pick in the 2014 draft has gone down to the Erie Bayhawks this season, though he went on three D-League assignments last year.