Eastern Conference coach doesn’t think Erik Spoelstra will use Victor Oladipo even with Tyler Herro injured

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Even though Victor Oladipo is available to replace the injured Tyler Herro, one NBA coach believes that Erik Spoelstra won’t insert him into the team’s rotation.

Sean Deveney of Heavy.com looked at a variety of topics and quoted an unnamed coach about why Spoelstra may end up using someone else in place of Herro.

“I don’t think so,” one Eastern Conference coach answered when asked if he thinks Spoelstra will put Oladipo back into the rotation. “Erik Spoelstra can be stubborn, in a good way I think—he sticks to principles and it sets an example for everyone else. But you get into the playoffs and you’ve got to find ways to keep winning. This is on the front office for not doing anything to get Spo more depth, for coming into this year thinking they could catch lightning in a bottle and Vic to play great. That did not happen and it really is not much of a game plan to say, ‘Hey let’s hope we get lucky on this guy.’”

Herro was injured late in the first half of the Heat’s upset victory over the Milwaukee Bucks. The injury occurred after he dove for a ball and became evident after he attempted a shot.

The jarring effect of Herro’s injury is that his broken hand will cause him to miss between four to six weeks. That could seriously impact the Heat’s goal of making another deep playoff run since it removes a key part of the Heat’s offense.

One of the reasons why such doubt exists about Oladipo’s ability to take Herro’s place is because of the veteran’s own injury history. Prior to suffering a torn right quad injury in January 2019, Oladipo was considered to be among the elite guards in the NBA.

However, since that injury as a member of the Indiana Pacers, Oladipo has endured major struggles while trying to return to that past status. After being dealt to the Houston Rockets in January 2021, he was then traded to the Heat just two months later.

Yet, injuries have continued to plague Oladipo, who has only seen action in 54 regular season games and 15 postseason contests for the Heat. For the regular season, he’s only averaged 11.0 points, 3.5 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game.

The Heat are in the postseason after emerging from the play-in portion of the schedule. Of the two games they played there, Oladipo saw only nine minutes of action in last Tuesday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, contributing only an assist and a block.

Given that Oladipo didn’t play at all against the Bucks on Sunday, the unnamed coach’s assessment likely appears to be an accurate one. That decision doesn’t preclude Spoelstra from using Oladipo in some capacity during the series, though exactly how that takes shape remains unknown.

Game 2 will take place on Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.