Miami Heat Excluded All-Star Guard From Official Team Photo

Victor Oladipo

Instagram/@vicoladipo Miami Heat star Victor Oladipo is returning for the 2021-22 NBA season

Days before the Heat take on the Milwaukee Bucks for the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, Miami’s official Twitter account kicked up the hype by releasing a brand new photo of the entire squad.

However, minutes after the picture was shared, Twitter users flooded the comments section with questions about why Heat guard Victor Oladipo was left out when newly-signed Ӧmer Yurtseven, who’s been on the team for less than a week, was positioned front and center.

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Oladipo only appeared in four games with the Heat before needing to undergo season-ending surgery on his quadriceps last week, but fans were perplexed he was omitted from the team picture. “At least they should have brought oladipo in a wheel chair for the picture,” one guy commented. “He is out for the playoffs but he is still part of the team.”

One person shared a zoomed-in photo of Yurtseven and tweeted, “Who tf is this,” while another guy commented, “I feel so bad for Vic :(.”

On May 14, the Heat replaced Oladipo with Yurtseven, a 7-foot center from Turkey who appeared in 14 games for the Oklahoma City Blue of the G League this season. He averaged 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 21.1 minutes per game while shooting 62.6% from the field.

As for Oladipo, the 28-year-old guard hasn’t played since April 8, nor has he traveled with the team since Miami first acquired him on March 25. Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman explained the two-time All-Star’s absence tweeting that Oladipo was not in town when the picture was taken.

Twitter Filled With Jokes About Zooming in on Players & Coaches’ Faces

While fans familiarized themselves with Yurtseven and expressed compassion for Oladipo, users online had a field day zooming in on everyones’ faces, pointing out that Duncan Robinson is the only person who appears to be smiling while the rest look like they’re ready for war.

One fan tweeted about Bam Adebayo’s close-up, “manz is gonna go on a killing spree.”

No one had an explanation for Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra’s facial expression.

The Heat vs. Bucks Series Is Predicted to Go a Full 7 Games

Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks

GettyJrue Holiday #21 of the Milwaukee Bucks is defended by Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat during the second half of a game at Fiserv Forum on May 15, 2021 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

While it’s exciting that the Heat secured a No. 6 seed in the playoffs, successfully avoiding the dreaded stress of the play-in tournament, playing a full seven-game series against a division rival will not be a cakewalk.

Former Heat legend Chris Bosh said during his Get Up interview on May 18 to expect a fiercely competitive series between the Heat and the Bucks. “Look for every game to come down to the last possession.”

“I will say look for this series to go seven games,” Bosh said. “It’s going to be extremely competitive. The heat definitely have a lot of confidence coming into this series, especially with the success they’ve had against the Bucks last year, and this year, too.”

Coach Spo said on Wednesday that his team is ready for the challenge. “We feel that we’ve been playing at a high level of intensity and emotion the last several weeks, but that still isn’t the level of what you can expect from the playoffs. And I think we have enough veteran guys to understand that.”

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