Pacers Lift Victor Oladipo’s Minutes Restriction

Pacers star Victor Oladipo will no longer face a minutes restriction, head coach Nate McMillan said today (Twitter link via Bob Kravitz of The Athletic).

Oladipo, who returned to action on January 29 after a year-long recovery from a ruptured quad tendon, initially was limited to 24 minutes per contest. The Pacers bumped that restriction up to 28 minutes about two weeks ago. Going forward, Oladipo has the green light to play more than that, though the team figures to continue being cautious with its star guard, who has appeared in just seven games so far.

McMillan said today that Oladipo will still only play the first half of Indiana’s back-to-back sets, per Kravitz. However, as Scott Agness of The Athletic points out (via Twitter), that shouldn’t be too big a deal, since the Pacers’ schedule only features three more back-to-backs. And obviously, once the postseason begins, that won’t be a concern.

A two-time All-Star, Oladipo has struggled to score efficiently since returning, averaging just 11.1 PPG on .329/.244/.800 shooting. Still, his defense has been solid and the expectation is that the shot will start to fall once he gets a little more comfortable and rediscovers his rhythm.

The Pacers, who currently rank sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 32-23 record, will resume their battle for playoff positioning on Friday when they visit the Knicks in New York.

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