Pacers coach Nate McMillan reacts to watching Victor Oladipo practice with G League team
As Indiana Pacers All-Star guard Victor Oladipo slowly eases his way back onto the court, the franchise is doing all it can to make the adjustment just right. The 27-year-old ex-Hoosier is recovering from a ruptured quad tendon suffered last season and hasn’t made an appearance yet this year, but his progress is encouraging.
Oladipo has been participating in practices with the G League’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants to get his legs back under him. Pacers head coach Nate McMillan recently watched Oladipo practicing with the Mad Ants and didn’t have much to say other than relaying that the guard “hasn’t had any setbacks,” which is a good sign at least:
Nate McMillan watched Mad Ants practice yesterday, which included Victor Oladipo.
McMillan didn’t have any notable takeaways other than how “He hasn’t had any setbacks. And I think that’s the big thing when a guy is going through rehab.”
— Scott Agness (@ScottAgness) December 31, 2019
Indiana, under McMillan and without Oladipo, have still been able to field a formidable squad this season. The Pacers entered Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia 76ers 21-12 without their bona fide All-Star shooting guard and currently possess the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference more than a third of the way through the season. So far the Pacers have epitomized the team sport, with six players averaging double figures in scoring, led by Malcolm Brogdon, the former Rookie of the Year with the Milwaukee Bucks who was acquired as a restricted free agent in the past offseason.
While contending teams jockey for players on the trading block before the NBA’s February deadline, the Pacers could get a huge boost when Oladipo returns from his ruptured tendon injury. The hope is he’ll be back in late January, though Indiana still won’t put a timetable on his return.
It will obviously take some time for Victor Oladipo to return to form whenever he does come back, but if that can happen by the time the postseason rolls around, the Pacers will be a formidable threat in a competitive Eastern Conference.