After draining what proved to be the game-winning shot in the closing seconds of Sunday’s victory over San Antonio, Pacers guard Victor Oladipo turned to the crowd and proclaimed, “This is my city!”
For one week, at least, this is also his league.
The NBA announced Monday that Oladipo has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played Oct. 23-29. The 6-4 guard and former Indiana University All-American averaged 28.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.7 assists over three games last week. He shot 60.4 percent from the field, 60 percent from 3-point range, and 95 percent from the free throw line while leading the Pacers to a 2-1 record.
He began the week by tallying 28 points, three rebounds, three assists, and two steals in a 140-107 win in Minnesota on Tuesday. Oladipo played a big part in helping the Pacers set a franchise record for single-game field goal percentage in the victory, going 11-for-16 from the field (2-for-4 from 3-point range).
The next night, Oladipo dropped a season-high 35 points and grabbed five rebounds in a 114-96 loss in Oklahoma City. Playing for the first time against the franchise that traded him to Indiana over the summer, Oladipo went 11-for-18 from the field, 5-for-8 from 3-point range, and a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Then on Sunday, Oladipo scored 13 of his team-high 23 points in the fourth quarter of a 97-94 win over San Antonio, helping Indiana erase a nine-point deficit and ultimately hitting the winning shot, a high-arcing step-back 3-pointer over 6-11 forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Oladipo went 7-for-14 from the field and 2-for-3 from 3-point range in the win while also collecting four rebounds and five assists.
Oladipo has led the Pacers in scoring in each of their first six games this season. He currently ranks eighth in the NBA with a scoring average of 25.5 points per game.
Oladipo is the 12th player in franchise history to earn Player of the Week honors. Pacers players have won the award a total of 21 times. Paul George, the player traded to Oklahoma City in exchange for Oladipo and Sabonis, was the last Pacers player to earn the accolade, doing so five times (the last being April 9, 2017).
Oladipo shared the weekly honor with New Orleans’ DeMarcus Cousins, who was named Western Conference Player of the Week.