Ahead of the NBA’s restart at Disney, a number of players announced they would be opting out of playing. Among the contenders to make legitimate playoff pushes, the biggest name that announced his intention not to play was Victor Oladipo, citing concern in being able to get his body back up to speed as he continues to work his way back from a ruptured quad a season ago.
Oladipo did join the team in Orlando — an easy trip for him given that he lives there — and has since changed his stance on playing, noting he’s now considering playing in the restart after feeling good in practices. On Monday, Pacers coach Nate McMillan confirmed that intention for Oladipo to play, noting he does expect the star guard to play in this week’s first scrimmage game and they will continue evaluating from there.
However, while getting one All-Star back, the Pacers are down All-Star big man Domantas Sabonis, who is battling a plantar fasciitis flare up that has kept him not just out of practice in the bubble but has kept him from putting any weight on his leg for a few days, per McMillan, via 107.5 The Fan.
“I do,” McMillan said when asked specifically about Oladipo playing in the scrimmages.
“He’s going through the practices and he’s looking good. Our first scrimmage is on Thursday and we’ll see how our guys feel, and we’ll get them minutes accordingly. Right now, there’s no restrictions on anyone (besides Domantas Sabonis). Other than that, I expect everybody to be ready to go.”
McMillan confirms that Sabonis foot injury is plantar fascitis. Says Domas can’t put any weight on his foot right now.
— Tony East (@TEastNBA) July 20, 2020
Sabonis has been a revelation in Indiana the last two years since acquiring him alongside Oladipo in the Paul George trade, and his absence would take away some significant firepower from the Pacers offensive attack. Indiana is currently fifth in the East, tied with the Sixers, and without Oladipo the expectation was they would slide firmly to the sixth spot during the eight-game restart. With Oladipo playing, they have a chance of battling with Philly, but will need a recovery from Sabonis from a very difficult injury to get a firm handle on.