Victor Oladipo: Can he Bounce Back?
Last season, we saw Victor Oladipo blossoming into a true NBA star. He was set to appear in his second All-Star Game and was putting up solid numbers across the board. Oladipo tallied 18.8 points, 1.7 steals, and 5.2 assists per game and put the Indiana Pacers in the playoff picture. Unfortunately, a gruesome quad injury halted his year before All-Star Weekend even came. It was a long road back from injury and he is back this season.
However, as one would expect, he has not quite recaptured his old All-Star form yet in the 10 games he has played so far this season. So far, he is only tallying 12 points, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals per game and possesses an effective field goal percentage of 42.7%. With that in mind, will Oladipo ever recover from such a traumatic injury?
Victor Oladipo: An Underrated Warrior
For those who do not know, Oladipo is one of the most competitive players in the league. If you watch any Pacers games, you will see the heart he brings night-in and night-out despite being relatively undersized for the NBA level. However, the size intangibles do not matter to Oladipo. He lets his playing do the talking. As a matter of fact, he seems to have that Russell Westbrook-like competitiveness which drives him to attack and then attack harder. With this in mind, Oladipo is not going to let any setback weigh him down easily.
This season may be an anomaly as he has not played actual NBA minutes in about a year, but he will get back into the groove soon enough. Not to mention, the Indiana Pacers are one of the most underrated teams in the league with an extremely well-constructed roster. The emergence of Domantas Sabonis as an All-Star will also take some pressure off of Oladipo. So, bear in mind, the Pacers do not need Oladipo to fully revert back to the All-Star he was quite yet with the success they are having this year.
Other Stars Who Have Bounced Back from Gruesome Injuries
The one advantage Oladipo has is playing in a generation where amazing advances have been made in the medical field. As a result, certain injuries that would have been considered career-ending back in the day are not as serious nowadays with the breakthroughs in the medical industry. There have been other notable NBA stars who have bounced back from gruesome injuries. Another former Pacers star, Paul George, broke his leg in a Team USA scrimmage. He is now back to his All-Star form averaging 21.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game while helping make the Los Angeles Clippers a legitimate contender.
It took him about a season to bounce back as well. Then, we have Gordon Hayward. Almost everyone remembers the opening night game against the Cleveland Cavaliers when he broke his ankle. Now, he may not be the All-Star he was in Utah. However, he is still a quality contributor for the Celtics tallying 16.9 points per game on 50.3% shooting from the field. With these examples in mind, there is still hope for Victor Oladipo. We might not see Oladipo be back to his old self this season in particular. However, next season could tell a different tale. After all, Victor Oladipo has too much heart to be weighed down by an injury. He is a two-time All-Star, former steal champion, All-Defensive Team member, and Most Improved Player of the Year for a reason.
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