Victor Oladipo didn't need any extra incentive to be his usual dominant self in Game 1 against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. Though, the All-Star shooting guard admits that Cavs owner Dan Gilbert's comments on the trade that brought him to the Indiana Pacers last summer probably provided some added motivation.
"I already have fuel. You could say he added fuel to the fire, I guess you could say," Oladipo said afterward. "That was so long ago. It came up recently because we're playing the Cavs in the series. I'm not worried about what he said. I can't control his opinion. All I'm focused on is myself, and becoming the best Victor Oladipo possible."
Cleveland was in the running to acquire Paul George from the Pacers during the offseason, with a three-team deal seemingly in place with the Denver Nuggets that would have sent Kevin Love to the Mile High City.
"I will say that Indiana could've done better than it did," said Gilbert during Koby Altman's introductory news conference roughly a month after the George trade, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin.
LeBron James-led teams hadn't lost a postseason game in the first round since 2012, and had never dropped a Game 1 to open the playoffs. Those streaks came to an end at the hands of Indiana at Quicken Loans Arena, thanks in large part to the play of Oladipo, who finished with a line of 32 points on 19 shots, six rebounds, four assists, four steals, and a block in 37 minutes.