He made it!
Victor Oladipo is ready to make his return on Wednesday, Dec. 29 just as he told us he would. He’s also said he will eventually return with a game that is better than the electrifying version we saw when he was healthy.
But that won’t be tonight. Baby steps and the first step is playing some real NBA minutes against the Bulls. Mark Montieth breaks down V.O.’s return quite nicely today at Pacers.com based on what he heard and observed at practice yesterday.
Among the key take aways, Vic will likely make his return off the bench (McMillan didn’t specify) and his minutes will be managed. He may play with the mentality “that I’m going to get 40,” but the more important stats will be less quantifiable. How he feels after the game and how his body recovers and feels on Thursday morning will tell us more about his continued return and readiness to take more baby steps in the games before the All-Star break.
Nate McMillan is focused on the whole of the team, as well as Vic. He is preaching patience and sacrifice among his squad. Facing head on the potential for frustration with guys who have delivered big time through the first 47 games of the season.
“You can look over here today and see the change is coming,” McMillan said. “So how do you deal with that mentally as a player? I’m sure some of the guys are feeling, We’ve been busting our behinds all season long and haven’t gotten the respect and attention and all of a sudden we’re getting it today. I can’t say how they’re going to deal with that, but I did address that with our guys today.”
As I mentioned yesterday, the second season for the Pacers begins against the Bulls. It will require an adjustment but can also give the Pacers an edge with added juice to the games during a time in the year when the regular season grind can start wearing on guys.
The anticipation for how Vic will return remains, but the wait is over.
Game Night, Welcome Back, Victor!!!! pic.twitter.com/283LZAd1gR— Josh Conder (@CountryWP33) January 29, 2020