When the Miami Heat acquired Victor Oladipo last season, the team surely envisioned a world in which the former All-Star would help take the team to the next level in the playoffs.
This season, that has absolutely been the case, and he’s a big part of the reason why the Heat have a great opportunity to go up 3-2 in the Eastern Conference Finals on Wednesday evening.
Oladipo certainly has a lot to prove after undergoing major surgery last year and finally making his way back to the court. Beyond that, he will become a free agent this summer and may still need to convince teams, including the Heat, that he is worthy of a multiseason contract.
Recently, Oladipo discussed how he plans to spend the summer.
“I really haven’t had a summer healthy to really work on my game,” he said. “This summer I’m looking forward to fine-tuning all the stuff I’m great at, which includes [three-pointers, pull-ups, drives to the basket] and more. Transition, half-court, all the stuff that was second nature to me.”
At one point, it was not even clear whether or not Oladipo would have a spot in the Heat’s playoff rotation. Now, his spot is secured.
In Game 3 against the Boston Celtics, Oladipo played crucial minutes coming off the bench. While he finished with just five points and one assist on the offensive side of the ball, he recorded four massive steals on the other end of the court.
In Game 4, Oladipo dropped 23 points and added six assists and four rebounds despite his team’s double-digit loss.
Now, Game 5 will offer either the Heat or Celtics a major morale boost and one-game advantage. Surely, Oladipo will look to once again help his team in whatever way possible.
If the Heat pull off a win on Wednesday night, they’ll be just one victory away from booking a ticket to the 2022 NBA Finals.