It’s been more than a month since the Indiana Pacers took the floor at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in a 114-111 defeat to the Boston Celtics.
Victor Oladipo led Indiana back from a double-digit fourth quarter deficit, scoring 12 points in the final six minutes. The Fieldhouse was rocking as Oladipo willed the Pacers to a three-point advantage with two minutes remaining, a lead they weren’t able to hold on to.
But there was optimism that the old Vic was back. Not just a flash here and there, but back for good.
Then the Coronavirus outbreak hit home – a Mutombo finger wag to the NBA and the rest of the sports world.
Responding to a listener question, JMV offered his take on if the pandemic-caused layoff helps or hurts Oladipo on Thursday’s The Ride with JMV:
“I’ve heard both sides of this,” JMV said. “I don’t think it’s as bad because people say, ‘well, he needs to get games under his belt and be in game shape’. But now nobody is going to have that, as opposed to everybody having that. I don’t think it’s bad for Oladipo, because you know the dude is going at it right now.”
In a conference call with the local media, Oladipo pointed to his positive mentality during the layoff giving him an edge once the NBA returns to action.
“I think across the board, [the layoff] evens out a lot of things…and the fact that Brogdon is now 100%…If and when they restart [the season], we’re gonna find out who’s been still going at it and doing it and who’s not,” JMV said. “And it’s gonna be pretty easy to damn tell.”
There are still so many unknowns, but whenever basketball resumes, expect Victor Oladipo to ease back into a rhythm. A rhythm that could translate to great things this year and beyond.
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