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Victor Oladipo reveals one key reason behind his breakout season with Indiana

GiveMeSport | Updated: 2018-08-20 22:45:13

Victor Oladipo was a transformed player last season as he enjoyed a breakout year for the Indiana Pacers.

The team's decision to trade Paul George in exchange for the shooting guard was heavily criticised last summer but they made the doubters eat their words.

Oladipo took time to work on his body last year and it truly paid off as he had a remarkable campaign.

Pacers head coach Nate McMillan put his trust in the 26-year-old to lead them and it paid off in style.

The result was a 48-win season which secured an unexpected playoff berth.

Elite status

On an individual note, Oladipo was named as the Most Improved Player and was selected to the All-NBA Team, All-Defensive Team, and was an All-Star for the first time.

In a recent profile piece by J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star, the Pacers star explains how a change in his mentality and approach on the court helped with his transformation.

“I push the envelope. I play nothing safe now,” Oladipo said. “I’m the guy if we’re down two, I’m pulling up for three.

"I work too hard to not push the envelope. I used to be conservative but that really didn’t get me anywhere.”

In just one year, he has elevated himself as one of the best two-way players in the league.

He posted career-highs across the board with 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals while shooting 37.1 percent from three-point range.

Following his terrific year, opponents will place a lot more focus on Oladipo and gameplan for ways to stop him next season.

He's likely to receive more double-teams, particularly late in games, and his trainer, Al White, has revealed that's one thing they're looking to prepare him for.

“Last year we started doing a lot of tightening up his ball-handling skills. This year we took it to another level because I watch a lot of film on him,” Watson said.

“In the fourth quarter, he’s like the point guard. Wanted to focus on a lot of combination moves, working on traps. It’s no secret now. They’re going to be double-teaming him.

“You look at the great players, Kobe, they had to do a little bit of everything. He’s got to be able to attack with all different facets of the game.

"We do a lot of sprinting, getting to your spots. Got to get open. I touch everything with in-game situation stuff.”

The former number two overall pick still believes there's another level he can reach and that bodes well for the Pacers.

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