Jimmy Butler says he’s ‘super happy’ Victor Oladipo is playing for Miami Heat while gushing over his game

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Miami Heat superstar Jimmy Butler heaped a ton of praise on guard Victor Oladipo following the team’s 112-111 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.

“I think that Vic is an incredible on-ball defender and off-ball defender,” Butler said. “You have to give him credit for that as well. But, he tends to think like I think on that side of the floor where it is, ‘I’ma let my defense dictate my offense. If I can get a steal, get into the open floor, see that ball go in, that’s an easy one.’

“He does that at a high level. And not only that, he passes the ball so incredibly well. He’s always in the right spot. He’s so unselfish. I’m super happy that he’s back playing.”

Oladipo had a big game for the Heat on Tuesday, scoring 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field and 3-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. He added four rebounds, four assists and two steals, showing a real commitment on the defensive end of the floor.

The Heat needed every last bit of Oladipo’s big game, as the team was without Tyler Herro, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry on Tuesday night due to injury.

That’s been the story of the season for the Heat, as injuries have really taken their toll on the roster, including Oladipo, who missed a huge chunk of games to start the season.

Tuesday night was Oladipo’s 16th game of the 2022-23 campaign for Miami, and he’s shown he can contribute in a big way off the bench.

The two-time All-Star is averaging 11.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while shooting 40.9 percent from the field and 32.5 percent from beyond the arc.

It’s cool to see Butler praise Oladipo’s defensive game as well, as he was an elite defender prior to suffering several injuries in recent seasons.

Oladipo led the NBA in steals per game in the 2017-18 season while making an All-NBA team, All-Defensive team and winning the league’s Most Improved Player award.

However, since that season, Oladipo has failed to play more than 36 games in a single campaign. Last season, injuries limited him to just eight regular season games with the Heat, although he did play an important role in their playoff rotation at times.

Butler seems to enjoy playing with Oladipo, and the Heat were lucky to be able to bring him back in free agency this past offseason.

With so many players dealing with injuries for Miami, the 30-year-old could have a major role in the coming weeks as the Heat look to climb up the Eastern Conference standings.

Tuesday’s win moved Miami to 22-20 on the season, and the team holds the No. 8 spot in the East.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.