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Oladipo & Harris Impress for Team USA on Day 2 of Camp

2014 July 30
by Adam Papageorgiou
Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

 

The odds are not in their favor to make Team USA’s final FIBA World Cup roster, but that won’t stop Orlando Magic players Victor Oladipo and Tobias Harris from forcing Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s staff into making those cuts as difficult as possible. NBA TV was able to broadcast the national team’s full Tuesday practice live from Las Vegas, and that allowed us to sneak a peek at some impressive highlights from Tobias and Victor.
     

 

Below you’ll find more highlights and analysis for Victor and Tobias. 

 

 

 

Victor found himself playing both guard positions. Oladipo appeared to have a better Day 2 than competitors Damian Lillard, John Wall, and Bradley Beal. The 22-year-old Indiana Hoosier also held his own against Stephen Curry and Kyrie Irving. No matter the amount of contact, Victor relentlessly attacked the paint. That shouldn’t shock anyone that has seen Vic play. OrlandoMagic.com’s John Denton was able to get some quotes from other players who praised ‘Dipo.

Derrick Rose

“He’s a great player already. I love how he plays and he plays with so much confidence. He totally deserves to be up here (with team USA) and I’m already a big fan of his. I love how he takes the game so serious.” “I’m here for him if he ever needs me,’’ Rose said after hearing that Oladipo hopes to pick his brain during his time with USA Basketball. “I know how serious he takes it. He’s such a talent with his size, what he can do on the floor and how he reads opponents, especially defensively. He’s a big-time talent.”

Kevin Durant:  

“There’s so much happening for Vic in such a short period of time and I’m really excited for him. I’m so happy that he’s getting this opportunity because he is absolutely like a sponge and he’s soaking in everything. As a fellow Maryland and D.C. native I’m happy he’s doing well and I’m pulling for him.’’

 

As for Tobias, the 22-year-old has been forced to play power forward with the squad’s lack of size. That’s led to some very engaging battles with big men like Kenneth Faried and Mason Plumlee. Harris has been able to take advantage of his quickness and has gotten to the rim numerous times.

 

Tobias still weighs 235 pounds, but apparently he’s leaner and has added muscle. That’s obviously helped ‘T12′ defend better in the post against beefier big men. So potentially, Orlando’s most potent scorer is now physically better and healthier. Fun.

 

“It’s definitely going to help me a lot,’’ Harris said of the muscle that he’s added following a strenuous offseason workout regime of weight-lifting, track and boxing drills. “Going into the offseason a focus was on being able to guard those stronger guys. I’ve put my time in the weight room and I can definitely feel it. It’s been paying off just testing myself against all of these guys in the post and defending them. I’ve definitely gotten stronger, but it’s still early in the offseason. I just have to keep progressing.’’

“I got it going a little bit in the post and part of the reason was because my jumper was falling. So I was able to get to the rim and use all of the things in my game,’’ Harris said. “It’s just about being here and learning from the coaches and players and taking the best of what I get. Then, I go back into the summer and say, `I have to work on this, I have to get better on that.’ Through this process, I evaluate my game while I’m playing here.’’

 

Magic fans should be proud of how their two young talents are performing so far this week.

 

Adam Papageorgiou is Owner/Editor of MBO and Founder of Orlando Magic Greek