Victor Oladipo Leads Miami to Series Closing Win Over Atlanta

Victor Oladipo has come a long way since missing the majority of the last four seasons due to reoccurring issues with a torn quad he suffered during the 2018-19 campaign. Since initially injuring his knee, Oladipo has played 96 games for Indiana, Houston, and Miami.

Through it all, Oladipo has worked hard to regain his All-Star form and provide some production to the No. 1 seeded Miami Heat. In their 97-94 Game 5 win, the resilience of Oladipo paid dividends after the two-time All-Star finished the elimination game with a team-high 23 points, three assists, and three steals.

His big-time performance helped lift a Heat team that was missing Kyle Lowry and Jimmy Butler due to hamstring and knee injuries, respectively.

“There’s nothing I can’t handle,” Oladipo told NBATV. “At the end of the day, I feel like I can come back and get through anything. So when they told me I needed to start tonight, I just stepped up to the plate and did everything I could to help my team win.

“I credit my coaching staff and my teammates for believing in me, my family, my God in heaven for getting me through. It’s only the beginning.”

The Heat also relied on their fourth-ranked defense to bottle up Trae Young (11 points, eight rebounds, six assists on 2-12 shooting from the field, 0-5 from the three-point line) and secure the series-concluding win on Tuesday. Miami was down for most of the first half before the Heat went on a 17-0 run late in the second quarter, never surrounding their lead.

However, the Hawks still put their head down and kept making pushes to make a comeback, going on 8-0 and 10-0 runs. Atlanta closed a deficit as large as 15 to within 95-93 before Oladipo closed the door on the comeback after diming Bam Adebayo for a clutch dunk with 59 seconds remaining on the clock.

The Heat advanced to the second round and will play the winner of the 76ers-Raptors series.