NBA News & Notes: The Latest on Orlando
As we are now just four weeks away from NBA basketball and less than one week away from the teams beginning to travel, more and more things continue to happen to draw our interest. From players opting in and out to roster movement, read on for all of the latest information and updates.
Oladipo Isn’t Playing
Two years ago, the Indiana Pacers took LeBron James’ final Cavs team to seven games in the opening round of the playoffs. Victor Oladipo was playing like a superstar, and the very next day after the defeat, he was back in the gym to work on his game. He had all the makings of a top-15 NBA player.
His ACL injury the following year set him back, and it seems he still isn’t 100% after playing 13 games in his return before the shutdown. And as a result of this, he will not be going to Orlando with his team. This is a tremendous blow, as he could have gotten hot and given the team a significant lift.
Obviously, he wasn’t having the impact that he did for the previous one-and-a-half years, but he is still going to be missed. Oladipo has been a tremendous leader since coming home to Indiana when he was dealt to the Pacers. He’ll likely have to do his part as a supporter from home, calling teammates after games to offer his input.
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Redick Slimming Down
JJ Redick’s NBA career has been extremely underrated and something to marvel at. As soon as he got out of Orlando, he became an X-factor on whatever team he played for. He was a bigger part of the game plan and was able to knock down more and more threes. His teams have never missed the playoffs.
With the great shape he keeps himself in, Redick is always ready to go. He says that he has lost 10 pounds, something that will serve to keep him quick on his feet. This wasn’t news that we expected, but what it does mean is that he has been putting in some serious gym time in the past few months.
Redick has become a bit underrated but is going to play a key role in the success of the Pelicans when play does come back. He is going to be leading the bench unit, likely relieving Jrue Holiday in the first quarter. If he can be Philly Redick this year, teams should all be very scared of this team.
Two Celtics Players Planning to Leave
Both Vincent Poirier and Gordon Hayward may be missing some key games for the Celtics this year. Both of their partners are due to give birth in September, and they have each said that they would leave the bubble to be with them during the process. And this comes as absolutely no surprise.
Losing Poirier would hurt their depth at center, but not affect too much within the rotation. He has appeared in only 20 games this year, so his presence would be missed mostly in practice. He’d likely only get minutes if either Enes Kanter or Daniel Theis went down.
Hayward, on the other hand, is a key player in the success of the Celtics. He was having a strong year, and his ability to score and facilitate has become a bit underrated with this team. He can give you 20-25 points and dish four to six assists, even with several other playmakers on the court with him.
Marcus Smart will likely be asked to step up his offensive game in the case of Hayward not being there. But he has spent his entire NBA career picking up the slack. So this really wouldn’t change much.
The Celtics are a team to watch in the East in the reboot.
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