Could Victor Oladipo be the X Factor for this year’s Miami Heat?

Victor Oladipo decided to stay with Miami Heat This is off-season on a two-year friendly contract with the team worth $18.2 million, with a second-year player option. This deal didn’t cap the Heat, as it actually gave them more room to avoid the luxury tax. As a fan, it has long been noted now, even before it was traded here, that Oladipo has a love and respect for the franchise. It was only a matter of time until he found his way to South Beach.

After undergoing another off-season surgery ahead of the 2021-2022 NBA season, Heat fans have been patiently waiting for his long-awaited return. On March 7 of this year, this comeback was finally made. It was unofficially marked “Dipo Day” inside the FTX Arena, a game I was already in, and the atmosphere was charged up.

Every time the man touched the ball, Heat fans seemed to be on their feet, waiting for something to happen. In a limited 15 minutes of work off the bench, he had a very encouraging walk; 11 points, 4 assists, in 4/7 shooting and 2/3 from downtown to go along with some great defense. It was a good sight to see watching Dipo dance “Pepas” in his warm-up clothes instead of street clothes.

However, not everything was smooth sailing after that match. Dipo followed up this performance with some rocky rides that showed some obvious rust there. Including getting in and out of the queue from time to time. The last game of the season for Oladipo was a Bayan match. Finally having minutes to start and a chance with our two key players to rest, he absolutely exploded with 40 points, 10 rebounds and 7 assists in a 13/22 and 5/11 shot from three. He also had 2 steals and was 9/11 from the free throw line.

It was Debo’s first 40-point game since then Indiana Pacers days. The performance that led Eric Spoelstra to decide to give him a post-season opportunity, which did not disappoint. His best offensive match was to finish Atlanta Hawks In the first round of the fifth game on our land. He lost 23 points, and in the final minutes showed his passion and love for the Miami fans as he ran into the crowd shouting with enthusiasm and energy. The perfect “You’ve arrived” kind moment, as he proudly lifts his shirt to represent “Miami” across his chest.

After the match, Oladipo received an inspirational message while discussing his journey. It’s been a tough road for the former star, but through it all, he’s remained professional and persistent.

“We are all human, we all get to this point. If you haven’t done it, you will at some point in your life,” Oladipo said. “I was fighting even before I was born. I was fighting… I was always confined. When God gave me this obstacle, I could do two things. I could have stopped, or I could have run through it. And I’m still running through it. No weapon formed against me will succeed.”

Besides that match, the man was a danger at the end of the defensive match all the long playoffs. Lock up some talented players, force them to spin, get swerves, steal, and even some blocks. He proved that his All-NBA caliber defense was still pretty much there, with his lateral speed and hands still being elite. The highlight was what made it so difficult for Jaylen Brown in Boston Celtics At times, it looked like Brown had absolutely no where to go with Dipo in front of him.

Some people forget that this guy was a problem for teams competing on both ends of the court, still only 30 years old. For years, we’ve been sorely lacking another ISO scorer to help the likes of Jimmy Butler and even Tyler Herro…when offense starts to take hold, you have someone you can give the ball to and let them go to work. He is very versatile, having great mid-range game, strong driving abilities and a good three-point shot as well. He can hit a point player and three throws, pull ups, dribble shots, and even create for others.

Victor Oladipo has a massive success story, having had surgery after surgery and still has the mental stability to get through it. At his best, he averaged a 23.1 PPG, was a 2X All-Star and an All-NBA player. Personally, I think that full off-season health can do wonders for this guy. He’ll come out swinging, potentially taking home the best player or sixth player award (depending on who starts). Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel recently wrote:

“If Victor Oladipo comes close to his previous level, then an argument can be made that his off-season signing will outperform any outside signing by the Celtics, Bucks, Nets or even 76ers. ”

A true X-Factor and Wild Card player for Miami, the self-proclaimed Vengeance Tour has some real hype about it. With a fairly quiet downturn, we have to be heat fans for it.