The Indiana Pacers will have star guard Victor Oladipo in their ranks when they start their journey in the NBA’s bubble. The Athletic’s Chams Charania reported on Saturday that Oladipo will, indeed, play for the Pacers after some considerable back-and-forth about his status while the NBA planned and made its return to play when the Pacers start their bubble run against the Sixers on Saturday night.
Pacers star Victor Oladipo will play in NBA restart beginning Indiana’s opener against the 76ers tonight.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 1, 2020
And, indeed, Pacers coach Nate McMillan said on Saturday that Oladipo will suit up and play against the Sixers.
— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) August 1, 2020
It’s huge news for a Pacers team that tried its best to make a postseason run without him last year, falling to Boston in the opening round of the playoffs. With quite literally everything up in the air about the NBA’s postseason during an unprecedented season, any little bit helps and if Oladipo is healthy he will be a considerable advantage in the East for the Pacers as they battle for seeding in the coming days.
Charania reported “growing belief” that Oladipo would try to give it a go despite his initial decision in early July to opt out of the Bubble season. In the days since, he had practiced in five-on-five scrimmages and was growing optimistic he could play despite his surgically-repaired quad, which has kept his status up in the air since last season. Health is the biggest concern with everyone in the age of COVID-19, but it seems Oladipo’s physical health is officially good enough here to play.