Victor Oladipo Thrives In Season Debut; Outlook For Heat

Victor Oladipo, Miami Heat, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network

Unlike some of the other teams looking to make some noise in the Eastern Conference, the Miami Heat didn’t make a move ahead of the 2022 NBA trade deadline. Instead, they stayed pat, but they are getting an addition to their lineup that could have the same impact as adding an All-Star at the deadline.

That is because the Miami Heat welcomed back former All-Star Victor Oladipo earlier this week. Oladipo underwent surgery on his quad during the offseason hoping it would help get him back to 100 percent healthy.

There was no specific timetable put forth for his return, but the team was hopeful they would eventually get him back. With how well they were playing, there was no need to rush. But, now he is back and ready to start contributing to some wins.

Oladipo made his season debut on Monday, marking about 11 months since he last stepped foot on an NBA court. It was a successful debut as Oladipo scored 11 points with four assists and one rebound in 15 minutes of action.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Major Ways Victor Oladipo’s Return Will Impact Miami Heat

He was happy to be back out on the court and the best is yet to come. He will only get better with time as he knocks off more and more rust with every appearance.

“I’m still getting stronger. Still getting better,” he said following Monday’s 123-106 win over the Houston Rockets. “That was a great first go-round, getting my feet wet. But I’m excited and looking forward to the year. Just gotta keep getting better. It’s not always going to be perfect, but that’s OK.

“My mentality will always be the same. I’ve been resilient since I could breathe. I’m not gonna stop now.”

Getting Victor Oladipo back in the lineup will provide a nice boost to a Miami Heat team whose only real question mark for the stretch run was depth. That will no longer be a concern if Oladipo can remain healthy and eventually bump his minutes per game into the mid-20s.

LATEST NBA NEWS: Major Ways Victor Oladipo’s Return Will Impact Miami Heat

Erik Spoelstra will have another weapon to deploy in the lineup as Oladipo can combine with Tyler Herro to make the best bench duo in the league. Herro is the odds on favorite to take home the Sixth Man of the Year award and he could find it even easier to produce with a veteran such as Oladipo sharing the court with him.

Spoelstra is certainly happy to have Victor Oladipo in the mix. He is excited about what could come from a healthy Oladipo with how hampered he has been in recent seasons.

“Only athletes really understand what that grind is like when you get injured and you have to deal with all that frustration and dead time behind the scenes,” Spoelstra said. “But he handled it with great positivity. Physically, he’s in a so much better place than where he was last year. I think looking back at on it, you really marvel that he was able to do what he was able to do basically on one leg for the two previous seasons. That was very uplifting for everybody.”

LATEST NBA NEWS: Major Ways Victor Oladipo’s Return Will Impact Miami Heat

With 16 games remaining in the regular season, Victor Oladipo will have ample time to get up to speed and readjust himself. If he can get close to the level of production he was providing when healthy, the Heat are adding a huge boost to their lineup for a postseason push.

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