Rookie Victor Oladipo struggled with his shooting as the Orlando Magic lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder 79-78 Monday afternoon, but Oladipo looked a bit more sure of himself handling the ball as a point guard.
Oladipo finished with 12 points on 2-of-12 shooting, five assists and three turnovers.
He was effective generating fouls on drives to the hoop, and he went 8 for 10 from the free-throw line.
“I’ve never played [point guard] at any other level, so point guard at this level, it’s a little challenging just because you don’t want them to speed you up,” Oladipo said.
“You’ve still got to run all the plays, but you’ve got to pick your times when to be aggressive and when not to be aggressive. I did some good things today and I did some bad things today, but I’m just going to go back and learn. It’s an ongoing process. It’s my second game, so even though I’m mad, I’ve got to realize that it’s my second game.”
Oladipo tweaked his right ankle when he tripped as he attempted to split a double-team, but he said the injury won’t prevent him from playing the rest of Orlando’s summer league games.
Larry Bird, back as the Indiana Pacers’ president of basketball operations after a year away, was asked what he thought of Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge’s decision to trade Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to the Brooklyn Nets.
Bird, of course, was a teammate of Ainge’s on the Celtics’ great teams of the 1980s.
“Believe me, Danny Ainge knows what he’s doing,” Bird said. “He’s had great success. He’s won a championship. I never doubt Danny Ainge. I only doubted him when he had the ball in his hands with three seconds to go, but not in the position he’s in now.”
• Magic forward Tobias Harris (knee) sat out his second consecutive game Monday.
• Power forward Andrew Nicholson scored a team-high 19 points for the Magic on 7-of-13 shooting.
• The Magic are scheduled to play the Miami Heat at 5 Tuesday afternoon.
Josh Robbins covers the Orlando Magic and the NBA for the Orlando Sentinel. You can reach him via e-mail at email@example.com and connect with him on Facebook at facebook.com/JoshuaBRobbins. Follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.