Victor Oladipo sitting out back-to-back due to knee injury management
The Pacers guard has not played in a back-to-back since Jan. 2019.
We finally have an answer on Victor Oladipo and whether he’ll play in back-to-back games.
No — at least for now.
An hour before the Pacers hosted the Celtics Sunday night on the second night of a back-to-back, the team announced that he would not play due to what they’re calling knee injury management.
Guard Aaron Holiday will start in his place.
Oladipo has not yet played in both games of a back-to-back since rupturing his right quad tendon on Jan. 23, 2019. The last time he did was the game before, Jan. 20 against the Hornets.
This is obviously a big loss for the Pacers. Oladipo, 28, has played well and scored 22 points in each of the first two games this season. He's shooting 64.4 percent and made all five 3-point attempts Saturday in a 125-106 win in Chicago.
Asked after the game about completing the back-to-back, the first of eight over the first 38 games, he said, “I’m not sure, we’ll see.”
That’s the same thing he told me almost a month ago at the start of training camp. Oladipo, who’s in a contract year, has been noncommittal about doing so since last season. That was the first sign it was headed this way.
Then, he wasn’t on the court during his usual pre-game warmup time.
“It’s hard to tell right now,” Oladipo continued. “Just have to see how my knee responds after tonight. Obviously I want to be, but I need to listen to my body and be smart at the same time.”
Oladipo was not listed on the injury report Sunday.
The Celtics have won nine of the last 13 meetings, including their last visit — March 10, 2020 — the day before the league paused the season due to COVID-19.
Edmond Sumner (illness), Goga Bitadze (right ankle sprain), Jeremy Lamb (left knee rehab) and Brian Bowen II (left groin tear) were also unavailable Sunday against the Celtics.