Pacers playoff hopes could hinge on Oladipo’s decision

After initially announcing he would not play in Florida because of concerns over his surgically-repaired right knee, the two-time All-Star backtracked and said he may reconsider if he could perform at a high level and he felt good.

Posted: Jul 23, 2020 7:31 AM
Updated: Jul 23, 2020 3:52 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indiana Pacers are restarting this season the same way they opened it — fielding questions about Victor Oladipo’s status.

They are hoping to have an answer by next week.


Indiana Pacers' Malcolm Brogdon drives past Milwaukee Bucks' Eric Bledsoe during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 4, 2020, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

After initially announcing he would not play in Florida because of concerns over his surgically-repaired right knee, the two-time All-Star backtracked and said he may reconsider if he could perform at a high level and he felt good.

That was good enough for coach Nate McMillan, who planned to use Oladipo in three scrimmage games.

“He’s going through the practices and he’s looking good,” McMillan said. “Right now, there are no restrictions on anyone.”

After fighting through 12 months of rehab, Oladipo returned from a ruptured quad tendon in late January.

He played in 13 games, posting his best numbers in Indiana’s final contest before the season was suspended.

Still, Oladipo knew he wasn’t himself.

He could only play one game of a back-to-back, missed another game when the knee randomly swelled and played limited minutes.

“I was on a minute restriction, that doesn’t mean I was healthy,” Oladipo said. “If I was 100% healthy, I wouldn’t have been restricted.”

Either way, it’s clear the Pacers will be cautious with Oladipo and his teammates wouldn’t want it any other way.

“A lot of people don’t come back from those injuries,” guard Malcolm Brogdon said. “He’s here every day, working hard, getting here early, staying late. It’s hard. But you also have to do what’s best for your body. He’s a veteran. He’s going to make the best decision for himself and I want him to make the best decision for himself.”

Oladipo would be a boon for a team seeking to win its first playoff series since reaching the 2014 Eastern Conference finals.

“What he brings is another strong weapon to the lineup,” McMillan said. “We know he’s very capable of scoring and creating, but he also does a great job defending.”

DEPTH UPDATE

If Oladipo plays — and returns to the starting lineup — Brogdon would continue to start at point guard.

The other minutes would be split between the increasingly productive Holiday brothers, Aaron and Justin; T.J. McConnell, a key backup; and Edmond Sumner, who says he feels as healthy as he has since entering the league in 2017.

McMillan figures he will need all of those bodies in these strange times.

“I plan to play a lot of guys, certainly 10-plus guys in those scrimmage games,” he said.

Jeremy Lamb made the trip with his teammates and is doing limited work during practices.

But he will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in February.

WHERE WE WERE

When the season stopped, the Pacers appeared poised to make a push for home-court advantage in the first round.

With Oladipo rounding into form, president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard thought Indiana could make the jump from fifth in the East, possibly even as high as third.

Though the playoff format has changed, Pritchard’s hopes — and those of the Pacers — have not.

BROGDON’S BACK

Brogdon used the surprise break to get healthy — twice.

He injured a hip muscle March 4 against his former team, the Milwaukee Bucks, and was listed as week to week when the season stopped.

Then, after speaking at a racial injustice protest in Atlanta, Brogdon was diagnosed with COVID-19, which delayed his arrival in Florida.

“I had very mild symptoms, had a fever and a headache,” he said. “But I’m back to 100%.”

Brogdon also announced Tuesday he has created the Brogdon Family Foundation, an organization he wants to use to create a more equitable world.

TURN-ING IT ON

It took center Myles Turner a couple of months to adapt to playing with All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis in the starting lineup. Now he appears to be the Pacers’ biggest surprise in Orlando.

McMillan and Turner’s teammates have all raved about Turner since they’ve returned to practice.

“He’s looked as good as he’s ever looked since I’ve been here,” Brogdon said. “He’s confident and when he’s playing with confidence out there, no one is actually stopping him.”

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68433

Reported Deaths: 2980
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14863719
Lake7101271
Elkhart459777
Allen3635158
St. Joseph315479
Hamilton2513104
Cass17519
Hendricks1750105
Vanderburgh172612
Johnson1652118
Porter119539
Tippecanoe110311
Clark108145
Madison84765
LaPorte83829
Kosciusko81912
Howard81065
Bartholomew74347
Marshall74222
Floyd69444
Monroe68630
Delaware63852
Noble63728
Boone63546
Dubois62612
Hancock62337
Jackson5524
LaGrange54210
Warrick51630
Shelby51126
Grant49629
Vigo47410
Dearborn46528
Morgan42532
Henry36118
Clinton3573
White34710
Montgomery34321
Lawrence32827
Wayne3179
Decatur31432
Harrison29422
Miami2582
Scott25010
Daviess24619
Greene23934
Franklin22410
DeKalb2224
Putnam2228
Jennings21012
Jasper2082
Gibson2004
Steuben2003
Ripley1887
Perry17212
Starke1657
Orange16424
Wabash1613
Posey1580
Fayette1557
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1462
Carroll1452
Wells1342
Knox1310
Huntington1183
Washington1161
Spencer1143
Newton11010
Tipton1075
Randolph1034
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan761
Pulaski721
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio514
Pike460
Parke451
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 93963

Reported Deaths: 3539
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin17254514
Cuyahoga12753477
Hamilton9160248
Lucas4944318
Montgomery405778
Summit3294217
Marion288444
Butler271459
Mahoning2411253
Pickaway235742
Stark1690132
Lorain163476
Warren163435
Columbiana158260
Trumbull1433103
Fairfield125425
Delaware120618
Licking112543
Clark108613
Lake104336
Wood92458
Clermont85511
Medina83533
Miami76937
Tuscarawas74713
Portage71760
Allen65442
Greene62611
Belmont58926
Richland54012
Ashtabula53945
Mercer53513
Geauga53143
Erie52427
Wayne49958
Ross4014
Huron3764
Ottawa35925
Athens3451
Madison33310
Sandusky33217
Holmes3226
Darke32127
Hancock3202
Auglaize2225
Lawrence2200
Union2161
Jefferson2063
Washington19722
Putnam19217
Scioto1881
Coshocton1866
Muskingum1811
Knox1692
Crawford1685
Preble1662
Seneca1613
Shelby1604
Morrow1582
Hardin15012
Clinton1486
Fulton1401
Champaign1381
Ashland1333
Highland1321
Defiance1294
Williams1243
Logan1231
Wyandot1207
Brown1121
Guernsey1117
Hocking1119
Carroll1085
Henry1061
Perry1062
Fayette970
Monroe9118
Van Wert691
Jackson670
Pike660
Paulding610
Gallia581
Adams532
Vinton302
Meigs250
Harrison201
Morgan200
Noble170
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 72°
Angola
Broken Clouds
68° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 68°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 71° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 72°
Decatur
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 72°
Van Wert
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 72°
Sunny Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events