Victor Oladipo, a former No. 2 overall pick who’ll become eligible for a rookie scale extension this summer, is playing like a first-team All-Defensive player, according to Magic coach Scott Skiles, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel relays. Oladipo is adept at guarding one-on-one, pressuring ball-handlers and contesting entry passes, Robbins explains. All of that has contributed to making the Magic a better defensive team this season, Robbins adds. Skiles moved Oladipo to the bench earlier this season, but the third-year shooting guard responded well.
Here’s more on the Southeast Division:
- Wizards coach Randy Wittman believes Drew Gooden and Nene should be able to return at some point this week, Ben Standig of CSNMidAtlantic.com relays. Nene has missed 12 straight games with a left calf strain while Gooden has missed 21 games because of a right calf strain, as Standig notes. Nene is set for free agency at season’s end.
- Wizards rookie Kelly Oubre is gaining confidence lately after scoring 18 points Wednesday and earning his first start on Saturday, J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic.
com writes. Oubre must be cognizant of not allowing himself to get into foul trouble early in games going forward, Michael adds, because there is a decent chance the Wizards will look to use more of him soon. “I told him he had to play a little bit differently now than when I have put (him) in games and it’s been a cause-havoc situation,” Wittman said. “I told him he had to learn situations. We’re short-handed. You get the first one and you’ve got to be smart. It was trying to get him to understand the difference between starting and being in the position where he had been.”
- While Jeremy Lin‘s numbers aren’t as eye-opening as they were during his “Linsanity” run, the point guard has added lineup flexibility for the Hornets and his turnover percentage is at a career low, Jesus Gomez of SB Nation’s Pounding the Rock details.