Victor Oladipo Will Bring Much-Needed Defensive Intensity to Orlando Magic

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IJune 28, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 27:  Victor Oladipo (R) of Indiana poses for a photo with NBA Commissioner David Stern after Oladipo was drafted #2 overall in the first round by the Orlando Magic during the 2013 NBA Draft at Barclays Center on June 27, 2013 in in the Brooklyn Bourough of New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Going into this summer's draft, many experts believed that Victor Oladipo was among the safest picks, and the Orlando Magic must have agreed. 

The struggling franchise selected the former Indiana shooting guard No. 2 overall in the 2013 NBA draft, adding a much-needed defensive presence to its roster in the process.

Despite the question marks about his shooting ability and size, Oladipo is sure to give the Orlando Magic, a team that ranked 24th in the league in points allowed last season, a crucial boost on the defensive end of the floor next season and for years to come. 

While the 21-year-old's athleticism and explosiveness will serve him well on the offensive end of the floor as a rookie, his motor, toughness and physicality are the traits that will set him apart on the defensive end (via Orlando Magic):

Oladipo emerged  as a big-time game-changing player last season as a junior with the Hoosiers. The 6'4" 2-guard averaged 13.6 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game while shooting a remarkable 60 percent from the field and 44 percent from beyond the arc..

While Oladipo's shooting numbers will no doubt come back down to earth at the next level, his defensive instincts will allow him to impact the game night in and night out around the perimeter.

Just what the doctor ordered for Orlando.

The Magic ranked 16th in the league last season in opponent three-point percentage, allowing opponents to hit at a clip of 36 percent from distance. But Orlando was even worse in opponent field-goal percentage, ranking 22nd in the NBA and allowing teams to shoot over 46 percent from the floor while scoring over 101 points per night.

Individually, Oladipo can't turn those figures around. But his leadership on the defensive end and ability to set the tone for the rest of the team will ultimately make Orlando a much-improved defensive squad.

Magic players will have no other option but to match Oladipo's energy and intensity in practice each day and over the course of the regular season.

While Orlando could have drafted a pure scorer in Ben McLemore, the Magic opted to take arguably the safest player available in Oladipo, a defensive stud who will make an immediate impact on that side of the floor next season.


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