Magic fans have had one wondering eye on the Rookie of the Year race as Victor Oladipo was the preseason favorite to win the award. How could you argue when you see plays like this one:
Unfortunately, consistency has been an issue for Oladipo and the gap between him and Michael Carter-Williams does seem to have gotten too wide.
As I noted last week, Victor Oladipo has been a bit slow coming out of his injury. He has picked things up including last night’s energetic performance, but the two-week stretch where he was struggling to score efficiently and the team was struggling to win were emblematic of the consistency issues Oladipo has had as a rookie. This is not a bad thing, just makes it difficult to win the Rookie of the Year against a solid player like Michael Carter-Williams.
The Sixers’ rookie has had the advantage because he is used to playing point guard and has had the ball in his hands from the very beginning of the season. This is a player using nearly a quarter of his team’s possessions as a rookie.
As I wrote for Crossover Chronicles, Carter-Williams has left a sliver open, but it will be tough for Oladipo to make up the gap:
When it comes to winning the coveted award though, it has been widely assumed Michael Carter-Williams wrapped it up at the beginning of the season. He put in the killer performances early on in the year. He had a recent triple double at Madison Square Garden. And, frankly, no one cares the goings on at the bottom of the standings.
Oladipo had a lot of ground to make up and Carter-Williams has left some window for him to make up that ground.
Sorry for killing that dream. The numbers just seem to make it difficult to fathom Oladipo overtaking Carter-Williams. Not without a lot more press in Oladipo’s favor and a few more stellar games — a triple double would be nice.
This is not to say Oladipo has not performed well this season. He has had a fantastic rookie campaign and has shown a lot of promise for the Magic’s future. He is certainly part of the bigger picture at this point.