It came in the midst of a 110-94 loss that marked their fifth straight defeat, and its impact was promptly nullified by a (nearly) equal and opposite reaction by Nicolas Batum on the other end, but if we can find it in our hearts to shout out Damian Lillard for an amazing effort in a loss, surely we can do the same for Orlando Magic rookie Victor Oladipo's soaring, emphatic, utter rejection of a slam dunk attempt by the Portland Trail Blazers' star point guard in the fourth quarter:
I love the turn of phrase that Eye on Basketball's Royce Young used in highlighting the play — "reverse poster" seems a perfect descriptor for a shot-blocker not only meeting a dunker at the summit, but erasing the shot so forcefully that it flies straight back out of the offensive player's hand and flies nearly out to the 3-point line. Consider the fact that, as Evan Dunlap of Orlando Pinstriped Post notes, the block was the consummation of an essentially flawless job of defending a two-on-one fast break, and the play becomes all the more impressive.
Likewise impressive? That just 35 games into his rookie season, Oladipo has two pretty strong "block of the year" candidates. The first one, lest we forget, came just over a month ago, when he rose up to snuff out a Carmelo Anthony dunk attempt at the rim at Madison Square Garden. I'm not sure that one was better than Denver Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov totally stonewalling Rudy Gay while the forward was still a member of the Toronto Raptors, but the rookie's latest just might be.
Oladipo finished with 14 points on 3 for 8 shooting (and 7 for 8 from the foul line) to go with four rebounds, two assists, two steals and that one stellar block in just under 39 minutes of work. Lillard followed his career-high 41 points in Sacramento with a quiet night (11 points on 12 shots, seven assists), but Batum (14 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists for his second triple-double of the season) and power forward LaMarcus Aldridge (36 points, nine rebounds, three blocks) gave Terry Stotts' team more than enough firepower to halt the Blazers' two-game losing skid.
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