Indiana Pacers Star Victor Oladipo Reconsiders Playing at Disney
After a string of strong practices, Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo is reconsidering his decision to forgo the rest of the 2019-20 season. After reports from Shams Charanaia of the Athletic last week, it has been revealed Pacers Coach Nate McMillan expects the 28-year-old to suit up in Indiana’s first scrimmage. ESPN’s Eric Woodyard reports.
This is especially good news given they lost guard Jeremy Lamb to a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament in March. Malcolm Brogdon and Doug McDermott have also recovered from various ailments suffered throughout the season to join a healthy Justin Holiday.
However, there should be skepticism regarding Oladipo’s return.
The All-Star ruptured his quadriceps tendon in his right knee over a year ago and has returned a shadow of himself. This is to be expected given the severity of the injury so thinking he would return close his best was a pipe dream. Since making his return in January, ‘Dipo is averaging 13.8 points, 3.2 rebounds and three assists on 39.1 percent shooting and 30.4 percent from three.
His best performance came in Indiana’s 111-114 loss to the Boston Celtics. Oladipo posted 27 points (9-16 from the field, 5-7 from three and 4-4 from the line), seven rebounds and four assists.
How will the hiatus affect him if he elects to return?
Just how his body holds up remains a huge question mark. Not only is playing his way back to his previous self but his workload is sure to increase exponentially once the playoffs arrive. Sure, the hiatus provided more time for 'Dipo to recover but there is no replacement for game conditioning. Are eight games enough for him to condition his body? Judging by his hesitancy to play in the bubble, I remain skeptical.
If he is able to get himself healthy, will his explosiveness return? Can he attack the rim like he did prior to the injury? Does Indiana expect Oladipo to accept the toughest defensive assignment each and every night? These are legitimate questions that need to be answered.
If he does elect to play, Indiana will be a better team. But just how much better they will be remains to be seen.