Exactly a week after the NBA’s action-packed trade deadline, Victor Oladipo — arguably the biggest star move of the deadline — made his debut for the Miami Heat.
Oladipo joined the starting lineup along with Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Duncan Robinson and Trevor Ariza.
Although he ended up tallying a hardly exciting six points and five assists — and although it was only his first game, there are some positive take-aways from his debut.
One: He’s still got some explosiveness to him.
After scoring his first points for the Heat on free throws, Oladipo reminded fans of one of the reasons he was such an exciting player to watch for so long by getting the ball off of a Warriors turnover, running the fast break and slamming the ball into the hoop.
Two: He can (still) defend high level players.
Illustrated expertly by his impressive clampdown of Stephen Curry during the game, Oladipo showed that he’ll fit right in with Miami’s “defend, defend, defend” culture.
Three: His playmaking ability is alive and well.
For a guard who was mostly counted on for his scoring in the past, it’s encouraging to see Dipo dishing dimes and setting up lobs, and not just creating for himself.