Heat guard Victor Oladipo is slowly starting to regain his offensive form ahead of unrestricted free agency this summer after missing most of the season while recovering from a second surgery to repair his right quadriceps tendon last May. The 30-year-old said he plans to fine-tune his game with a healthy offseason.
“I really haven’t had a summer healthy to really work on my game,” he said, per Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. “This summer I’m looking forward to fine-tuning all the stuff I’m great at, which includes [three-pointers, pull-ups, drives to the basket] and more. Transition, half-court, all the stuff that was second nature to me.”
After averaging 12.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists on .479/.417/.737 shooting in eight regular season games (21.6 minutes), Oladipo is averaging 11.5 points, 3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals on .387/.313/.787 shooting through 12 postseason contests (24.8 minutes). He’s provided impressive defense to the Heat in the playoffs, but acknowledges he’s still trying to find his rhythm on the other end of the court.
“Definitely [offensively], especially because I didn’t have had an opportunity to find my rhythm,” Oladipo said last week. “I can still be effective, find ways to affect the game. Even offensively, it’s more of a mind-set thing. I haven’t played a lot. I don’t have as much reps as everyone else but I can still play at a high level.”
As Jackson notes, the Heat hold Oladipo’s Bird Rights this summer, giving them the ability to go over the salary cap to re-sign him.
Here are a few more notes on Miami:
- Duncan Robinson‘s five-year, $90MM contract with the Heat is only guaranteed for $80MM, and the $10MM discrepancy is tied to both the team’s and his own postseason performance, according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel. If the Heat win a championship in any of his five seasons, including this one, the final $10MM in the fifth season of his contract will be guaranteed if the following criteria are met: Robinson plays at least 70 regular season games while averaging at least 25 minutes per night, and he appears in 75 percent of his team’s postseason games while averaging at least 25 minutes per contest. As Winderman observes, Robinson has met both of the regular season criteria, but is falling short in the playoffs. He’s appeared in 11 of 15 postseason games (73.33%) while averaging just 11.5 minutes.
- Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports takes an inside look at what Udonis Haslem does behind the scenes to help the Heat win games, with the veteran emphasizing preparation as a key to success. “If they’re not prepared, I’m taking my notes on what we need to work on. For me, this is full-time job, bro. No days off. Even when it’s summer time, I’ll just take a week off and then I’m right back in the lab, in the weight room, in the gym, conditioning. My body has to stay right. That’s the most important thing for me is that my body has allowed me to be able to keep up with these guys,” Haslem said.
- Joe Vardon of The Athletic shares 25 thoughts heading into Wednesday’s Game 5 against the Celtics, noting that health has played a major factor in the series to this point, and the Heat need a more aggressive version of Jimmy Butler and more contributions from Gabe Vincent and Max Strus if they hope to advance. In case you missed it, Miami will be without Tyler Herro again for Game 5, as he continues to deal with a strained left groin.