Maybe Deron Williams is creaky after he spent a part of October in a walking boot. Maybe he’s just no longer the All-Star we saw play in Utah. Regardless of the reason, he’s off to another slow start this season, and tonight he got stripped by the Magic’s No. 2 pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Victor Oladipo, before the rookie spun for a 360-degree dunk at the other end.
The Nets beat the 2-time defending champion Heat at their home opener in Brooklyn on Friday night, but Williams wasn’t great in the win. He was just 3-for-7 from the field for eight points and eight assists; those are his exact averages through the season’s first three games in a little more than 25 minutes a night. Maybe that’s why an apathetic nine-point, seven-assist Sunday during a 107-86 blowout loss to the Magic, wasn’t that surprising.
Conversely, Oladipo was everything D-Will was not: energetic, active, efficient and explosive. The 6-4 guard out of Indiana poured in 19 points on 8-for-13 shooting, which tied Nikola Vuceveic for team-high. He did his offensive damage in just 21 minutes of action, though, and also added six boards, four assists and two dimes. While ‘Dipo also turned the ball over seven times in that brief spurt of court time, he was a bundle of activity that made D-Will’s performance look arthritic in comparison.
Never was this more apparent than when Dipo stripped Williams and raced down to the other end before a cheating 360 dunk (he jumped almost 180 degrees before even leaving the floor). You could say that Victor might have reached in on Williams — and you can see Williams complaining about the no-call as Oladipo sprints past him for the loose ball — but the result speaks for itself.
What do you think of Oladipo’s first few games in the NBA?
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