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How real is the Victor Oladipo offensive resurgence?

With Duncan Robinson out for a month, the Heat need it.

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

It started during the Miami Heat’s New Year’s Eve win over the Utah Jazz. Victor Oladipo scored a season-high 23 points, including 4-of-9 from 3. And he made a huge dunk that recalled his 2017-18 All-NBA season.

The next game on this road trip, at the Los Angeles Clippers Jan. 2, Oladipo added 15 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. After he strung together these two strong offensive performances, is a better offensive Oladipo emerging?

The Heat came into the season counting on Oladipo to be the sixth man. And while the two-time All-Star showed himself to be a strong defender both in the 2022 playoff run and thus far this season, his offensive attempts have drawn groans from fans. Oladipo’s abysmal offense — he’s shooting 28 percent from 3 on 4.4 attempts per game — has been one the reason the Heat’s bench has not played up to par this season.

Like it or not, Miami needs more offensive output from Oladipo. Duncan Robinson is out for the next month with finger surgery.

He should ease up on bombing away from 3. Even during his best seasons, Oladipo was never a knock-down shooter. He should focus more on making plays within the natural flow of the offense, like this kick-out to Max Strus for 3.

Oladipo doesn’t have to operate at his All-Star level from 2018. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro are the three focal points on offense. But the Heat need Oladipo to be more than a defensive stopper and become more of a consistent two-way force to continue turning the season around.

Miami is 8-3 in their last 11 games. To continue that trend, Oladipo needs to keep it up.