Still no final word from Oladipo on if he’ll play in Pacers restart

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INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – FEBRUARY 10: Victor Oladipo #4 of the Indiana Pacers dribbles the ball against the Brooklyn Nets at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on February 10, 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS – One day until the Pacers restart their season and star guard Victor Oladipo still won’t say for sure if he’ll play in the seeding games opener against Philadelphia.

“I’ll decide tomorrow,” Oladipo told reporters after practice on Friday. “I’ll meet with the coaching staff, meet with the medical staff, meet with my guys and see if it’s the best thing for me to do. If I feel good, let’s go. Let’s play, but we’ll just have to wait and see until tomorrow.”

Oladipo initially told The Athletic’s Shams Charania that he planned to sit out the NBA restart in Orlando because of increased risk of injury after a lengthy rehab from a torn quad tendon, but he reversed course after the team began working out in Florida.

He participated in all of the team’s practices without restrictions and played in their three scrimmages at the Wide World of Sports Complex averaging 11.3 points in 25 minutes per game.

“I felt good today, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” Oladipo said. “It’s a day-by-day thing, but I’m optimistic. We’ll see how tonight goes and what tomorrow brings. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens.”

“He’s been working extremely hard all season long,” said Pacers head coach Nate McMillan. “During the layoff, he was working hard on his body and getting ready for the training camp.”

Even if Oladipo does decide to play Saturday, he says it doesn’t automatically mean he’ll play the rest of the restart and postseason. His status will continue to be day-to-day.

If he takes the floor, he’ll just be excited to “play basketball, period” and if he doesn’t, the potential criticism won’t bother him.

“It’s a part of life,” Oladipo said. “Everybody isn’t going to like you. There’s eight billion people in the world. You think all eight billion are going to like you? You just have to do what’s best for you.”

The Pacers will play eight seeding games, starting with Saturday’s game against the 76ers at 7:00 p.m. The playoffs will tip-off in the middle of August.

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