Magic guard Victor Oladipo has donned a mask and is participating in light drills, reports Brian Schmitz of The Orlando Sentinel. The second-year guard suffered a facial fracture under his right eye during an October 23rd scrimmage and underwent surgery October 25th. He has been cleared to fly and is joining the team on its current road trip, but there is no schedule for his return to the court. “The biggest thing is just getting used to it, having something on your face,” Oladipo said of his mask, adding that it felt “a little bit” weird to wear it.
Also in the Eastern Conference:
- After a change of scenery, Evan Fournier is thriving in his new role for the Magic, Schmitz writes. Fournier, who was traded to Orlando along with the 56th pick of the 2014 draft for Arron Afflalo last June, isn’t trying to replace Affalo’s production. “I don’t take it that way,” Fournier said. “I’m here to play my game. That’s the only thing that matters. I’m not here to do something like Arron.”
- Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel says LeBron James is asking for patience with the Cavaliers, but rarely showed it during his final season with the Heat. “By the end of his Miami Heat tenure,” Winderman writes, “all indications were LeBron James‘ patience had run out with Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Erik Spoelstra and Pat Riley/Micky Arison. He essentially left without a clarifying word to any.” Winderman charges that James’ desire to win more NBA titles to add to his legacy led the Cavaliers to trade away overall No.1 picks Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, while adding veterans Mike Miller and James Jones.
- John Wall lamented the Wizards‘ lack of a “killer instinct” after nearly letting a 22-point lead get away Saturday against the Pacers, reports Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post. The fifth-year guard, who is in the second year of a five-year, $84.79MM max extension, says the Wizards haven’t learned haven’t learned how to put teams away when they have the opportunity. “We made it a tougher game than we wanted it to be,” Wall said. “We didn’t do a great job of closing the game out, but as long as we got the win and finished four-in-five-nights 3-1, you can’t ask for a better record.”
Chris Crouse contributed to this post.