Victor Oladipo said he’s aware of Dan Gilbert’s comments regarding Paul George trade
The Indiana Pacers grabbed an impressive road win in Game 1 of the first-round series on Sunday afternoon against the Cleveland Cavaliers. The team was in clear control throughout the contest despite a push late in the second half by the Cavaliers.
The offensive charge was led by All-Star guard Victor Oladipo dropping a game-high 32 points behind an efficient 11-of-19 shooting from the field with six made 3-pointers. Following the game, Oladipo revealed that Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert’s comments about the Paul George may have been a motivating factor in his huge performance, according to Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal.
Pacers’ Victor Oladipo on #Cavs owner Dan Gilbert’s comment in July that Indiana didn’t get enough in Paul George deal: “I’m aware of it. I guess you could say it added fuel to the fire.”
— Marla Ridenour (@MRidenourABJ) April 15, 2018
Oladipo looked more than ready for the challenge against the defending Eastern Conference champions on Sunday afternoon. He played a huge part in helping the Pacers race out to a comfortable double-digit lead that reached a game-high 23 points in the third quarter.
He also contributed to helping keep the Cavaliers from ever truly reaching a point of erasing the deficit with a strong fourth quarter recording 10 points in the period that included a pair of timely 3-pointers. This has been the latest performance to what’s been a career-best campaign for Oladipo truly stepping up as a bonafide star in the league.
The 25-year-old has become the unquestioned top-scoring option for the Pacers that helped them become a promising team behind their young core group. It is also clear that Gilbert’s comments have had some influence on Oladipo’s play as he put together one of his best outings of the season.
Although head coach Nate McMillan declined to acknowledge it was a motivating factor, the play of Oladipo in the contest speaks towards that being the case. More importantly, his outing has given the Pacers taken away home-court advantage in the series while presenting the chance to move to a 2-0 lead on Tuesday night before it shifts to Bankers Life Fieldhouse.