‘I Do Not Have a Timeline’ For Victor Oladipo’s Return |SLAM

'I Do Not Have a Timeline' For Victor Oladipo's Return |SLAM

The Miami Heat have dealt with a multitude of injuries so far in the 2022-2023 NBA season, but none have been more frustrating (at least for the moment) than the absence of two-time All-Star Victor Oladipo.

A left knee tendinosis diagnosis has kept Oladipo sidelined for all 21 games Miami has played. Head coach Erik Spoelstra says, “I do not have a timeline” for when he can return.

Oladipo could be the difference-maker for a struggling Heat team this season. In the Heat’s playoff run to the Eastern Conference Finals last season, Oladipo averaged 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals off the bench.

Although the stats won’t show it, his best performance was against Jaylen Brown and the Boston Celtics, holding Brown to four crucial turnovers in the second half to force a Game 7 that ultimately highlighted his perimeter defensive skillset.

The guard play of the Heat has taken its strides from last season as Gabe Vincent, Kyle Lowry, and Tyler Herro are all playing to their capabilities, but Oladipo would be a bonus to a bench unit that has struggled to generate turnovers defensively, being third worst in the League.

The situation for Oladipo can’t be as troubled as it was to start the season, however, as he has now been putting in reps with the squad in their current road trip. With Spoelstra wishing to coach a healthy lineup, adding Oladipo to team practices could help ease him into a minimal playing status.

“He’s on this trip for a reason, to continue to get good work, but also to get the connection piece, the fellowship piece with our guys,” Spoelstra said. “It’s really important. That’s as important for him, being out, just being around the group.”

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