Victor Oladipo had his best game of the season on Saturday to propel the Miami Heat to a win, and coach Erik Spoelstra said that the team celebrated his strong performance in the locker room.
Erik Spoelstra on Victor Oladipo:
“Everybody celebrated him in the locker room.”
— Brady Hawk (@BradyHawk305) January 1, 2023
The Heat were on the second leg of a five-game road trip on Saturday. They had a challenging task at hand as they faced the Utah Jazz, who were 12-5 at home prior to the contest. However, Miami had a big offensive night, outscoring Utah 126-123.
The squad from South Florida was led by the heroics of Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro, who scored 32 and 29 points, respectively. A timely offensive explosion from Oladipo also helped the team snatch the victory.
Oladipo has had a lackluster season thus far. His struggles are understandable, considering that he has appeared in just 71 regular season matches since the start of the 2019-20 season because of injury issues. He missed the first 24 games of the 2022-23 campaign.
Prior to Saturday’s contest, he had been averaging 8.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game on a 36.4 percent shooting clip this season.
The two-time All-Star had a breakout game on Saturday with a season-high 23 points to go along with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. He was also pretty efficient from the floor, going 7-for-15 from the field and 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Fans are hoping that the 30-year-old can sustain the momentum and continue producing at a similar, if not better, level for the rest of the campaign. More importantly, the Heat organization and its supporters are hopeful that Oladipo can completely move past the injury concerns that have held him back in recent years.
The Heat have been a bit disappointing this season, winning just 19 of their 37 matches. After finishing the 2021-22 regular season with the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, Miami is just seventh in the conference so far in the 2022-23 campaign.
The team will surely need more from key players like Oladipo if it wants to avoid the play-in tournament and gain an outright spot in the playoffs.