The Miami Heat have never tried to rush the process.
They know it will take some time for guard Victor Oladipo to get fully healthy. So far, the approach has worked, with Oladipo coming off 25 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in Saturday’s victory against the Utah Jazz.
“It’s the patience of him buying into a role,” Heat center Bam Adebayo said of Oladipo. “Coach was like, `We want you to defend to get you back in your groove.’ Him buying into that, I know that’s not easy being where he was at a point in time of his life.”
A former All-Star, Oladipo has dealt with injury issues for the past four years. He sat most of this season after undergoing offseason knee surgery but has played solid since his return.
“I can score the basketball,” Oladipo said. “I’ve been scoring my whole life. I’ve missed a lot of basketball. With that being said, my mindset is just work hard. Stop worrying about the results, stop worrying about how it looks, stop worrying about things I can’t control.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Oladipo needs at least 40-50 games before he is back to normal speed.
“Everybody celebrated him in the locker room,” Spoelstra said. “Only the locker room understands what he’s been going through for the last two years. So much of his journey has been solitary. That’s tough. He’s had a great perspective about this. We’re not expecting it to happen overnight. We want to commit to him in this process. He wants to commit to the team.”
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Shandel Richardson covers the Miami Heat for Inside The Heat.
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