Houston Rockets: Five players who will earn an NBA award

DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Houston Rockets, John Wall #1, and Eric Gordon #10 (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)
DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Houston Rockets, John Wall #1, and Eric Gordon #10 (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets, Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /

#3 Victor Oladipo – All-defense

Victor Oladipo, similar to John Wall, has had himself an uphill climb over the past couple of years. Prior to this season, Oladipo had only played 55 games in the past two seasons due to a ruptured quad tendon he suffered in 2019.

Prior to his injury, Oladipo was one of the best two-way guards in the league. During the 2017-2018 campaign, Oladipo enjoyed the best season of his career when he earned an NBA All-Star selection, Most Improved Player honors, was voted to the All-NBA Third Team, the NBA All-Defensive First team, and lead the league in steals.

Fast forward to this year, Oladipo is averaging 20 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Despite the Indiana Pacers’ deep roster, Oladipo managed to feature heavily and play considerably well.

The Pacers are ranked 7th in defensive rating and have consistently been considered good on that side of the ball with Oladipo on the team. This season, Oladipo has accumulated 15 steals which is tied for 24th in the league despite playing fewer games than players ahead of him.

In addition, Oladipo has a 106 defensive rating which is good for 12th best among NBA players who are logging at least 30 minutes per game. Victor Oladipo being traded to the Houston Rockets will give him a great opportunity to help improve the team’s defensive struggles.

If he plays the rest of the season out in Houston, he can help change the narrative of the team’s weakness on that side of the ball throughout the course of the season. Expect Oladipo to be a candidate for All-Defense Team honors if he remains healthy this season.

Next: Player No. 2