Victor Oladipo is proving to be a revelation for the Indiana Pacers this season as he's playing the best basketball of his career.
The franchise was heavily criticized for trading Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer in return for Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis as many felt it didn't represent good value for one of the league's star players.
But 27 games into this campaign, the Pacers are looking like the winners of the trade and have a player they can build around in the coming years.
After playing his college basketball in Indiana, Oladipo looks like a completely different player in the place he calls "home".
The 25-year-old has been terrific all year but he produced his best performance in a thrilling encounter against the Denver Nuggets on Sunday.
The former Orlando Magic man posted a stunning career-high 47 points, along with seven rebounds, six assists, two steals and one block as he led the Pacers to an impressive 126-116 win in overtime.
Having trailed for much of the game, Indiana needed some inspiration to come away with a victory and Oladipo duly obliged in style.
As you would expect, his display drew some amazing reactions across social media.
The shooting guard has had a special bond with the fans in Indianapolis since his college days and he's rekindled that since returning in the summer.
After the buzzer, he spent time high-fiving some of the fans inside a raucous Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
"These fans are incredible. It's like I never left," Oladipo said, per ESPN. "In college it was the same way. It's pretty awesome to play in front of them."
This is certainly a breakout season for the former number two draft pick and he's on course to earn some individual accolades too if he continues on this hot streak.
He's an early candidate for the Most Improved Player award and should be considered for an All-Star nod too at this rate.
Unsurprisingly, Oladipo is being compared to former Pacers favorite George by the fans in Naptown and they have been quick to point out that their new star is having a better year so far.
But the comparison is something that he's growing tired of and has urged for it to stop.
"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. I wish him all the best. I'm feathery, right here as a Pacer," he said, per Clifton Brown of the Indy Star.
Unfortunately for Oladipo, the comparisons are set to ramp up even more in the coming days as PG13 is expected to make his hugely anticipated return to his old stomping ground on Wednesday.
The atmosphere inside the arena will be hostile and both players will definitely have something to prove in the nationally televised matchup.News Now - Sport News