A significant injury to Victor Oladipo will derail any hopes the Miami Heat has of making another deep playoff run.
With the push for the playoffs currently underway in the NBA, the Miami Heat was hoping that they would be able to create some momentum after the moves made at the NBA trade deadline, which would help catapult themselves to a potential Darkhorse contender in the Eastern Conference.
And a big part of that revolved around Victor Oladipo, his healthy, and his integration into the team. After a rough first couple of games with the team, it seemed he was starting to gain some comfort over the last two contests.
After scoring 16 points in a loss against the Memphis Grizzlies earlier this week, Oladipo was following that performance up with an 18-point outing against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, before he was able to finish the game, he went down with an apparent knee injury. And did not return to the game.
Expectedly, there was no immediate update on Oladipo‘s injury other than he would be receiving an MRI and further examination Friday. Even though there were some encouraging signs in the locker room after the game, you can’t help but feel like the Heat’s playoff chances hinge on the final diagnosis of Oladipo’s injury.
It’s a shame because Oladipo was finally beginning to look comfortable next to Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo and was beginning to look a little more like the player the Heat believed they would be getting at the trade deadline.
Of course, nothing is certain until that MRI comes back clean and there will be plenty in the Heat’s front office that will be holding its collective breath until then. And with Oladipo’s injury history, you simply can’t give him the benefit of the doubt that he’ll be OK.
Still, the hope is that this was more of a scare than a serious injury. At this point, it would be great to see him miss just a couple of games or a week or two.
Even though the Heat doesn’t necessarily “need” Oladipo to win a first-round playoff series, this team does need him if they hope to make another deep run in the postseason. Oladipo was added because he fits with what the Heat lacks.
Oladipo added depth to a thin backcourt, especially at the point guard position (even though he’s not a natural point guard, his skill-set fits right in with the position), addressed the third 1-on-1 scoring option that they needed, and, when healthy, was one of the best point-of-attack defenders in the league.
For now, the Heat are forced to play the waiting game with Victor Oladipo. The team and Oladipo have to be hoping that this was just a scare and that he will miss just a few days of action. If it’s anything worse than that, well, let’s just say the Miami Heat may have to pivot again heading into the offseason.