Heading into Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets, Victor Oladipo was in the midst of a breakout season.
The 25-year-old shooting guard had been thriving, posting 23.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game in his first year with the Indiana Pacers. Knocking down 48.2 percent of his shots overall, he also was on fire from three-point range, as indicated by his 43.9 percent clip.
Most of all, he had emerged as the clear leader of his third NBA franchise, serving as the go-to scorer and overall catalyst on both ends of the floor. He also averaged 1.1 blocks and 1.8 steals per contest, which proved that he was no slouch on the defensive end.
However, on Sunday, something happened that propelled Oladipo to new heights.
Dropping a career-high 47 points along with seven rebounds, six assists, a block and two steals over 45 minutes in a 126-116 overtime victory, Oladipo cemented himself as a clear All-Star candidate and emerged on the map as someone who might even be in the MVP consideration.
After all, the Pacers are 16-11 and are moving up in the standings, clearly an improved bunch over last season's Paul George-centric club.
The entire NBA community is noticing too. For instance, Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul chimed in with a congratulatory tweet after the epic performance:
Then, Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Dwyane Wade tweeted out kind words for Oladipo as well, predicting big things in his future:
The Pacers are playing an entirely-new brand of basketball that features an up-tempo style of offense that perfectly suits Oladipo's overall game and skill set. The marriage between the two sides has been a happy one so far.
Since he played his college ball at the University of Indiana, he feels right at home playing for the Pacers, as he stated once again in a post-game interview on Sunday:
Naturally (and perhaps unfairly), Oladipo will be compared to Paul George for the next couple of years. After all, Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis were sent to Indiana and George was sent to Oklahoma City in one of the past offseason's biggest trades. At the time, it appeared one-sided in OKC's favor, but now it appears as though it might have been lopsided the other way.
While both players are serving in different roles for their new squads, Oladipo's numbers stack up well against George's so far:
But, it appears as though Oladipo doesn't want to hear about that comparison. "I'm kind of getting sick and tired of the comparisons with Paul George and myself. He's moved on. I moved on. I'm happy here, he's happy there," he told Clifton Brown of the Indy Star after the game. "I wish him all the best. I'm feathery, right here as a Pacer."