The mood inside the Bankers Life Fieldhouse quickly turned somber as Indiana Pacers star Victor Oladipo appeared to suffer a serious right knee injury in the second quarter. The Pacers were clinging to an eight-point lead when third-year big man Pascal Siakam got loose in transition. When Oladipo went to contest Siakam’s shot, the two players got tangled together. During the contact, Oladipo’s legs gave out from underneath him.
Below is the baseline video that Fox Sports Indiana captured (via WKBT’s Charlie Clifford).
Oladipo was unable to leave the court on his own and was eventually taken back to the locker room on a stretcher. Prior to leaving the floor, both fans and players anxiously watched in silence.
Shortly after Oladipo returned to the locker room, the Pacers revealed that the injury does appear to be serious after initial evaluations. In a message delivered on social media, the Pacers updated their star guard’s early outlook.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Pacers already fear that Oladipo could be out for the remainder of the season. Outside of the media, players from around the league have started to send their support to Indiana’s injured star. LeBron James, Paul George, and CJ McCollum have all made it known that the former Hoosiers standout is in their thoughts.
Previous Injuries & Successes in Indiana
Oladipo has never missed more than 15 regular season games in a season since his debut in the 2013-14 season. Earlier this season, Oladipo missed 11 games with a soreness-related injury in the same knee. Despite an extended absence from their star player over that stretch, the Pacers managed to win seven of those games during Oladipo’s absence.
Since arriving in Indiana via a trade centered around George, Oladipo has established himself as one of the premier players in the Eastern Conference. After enduring three forgettable years in Orlando and one awkward year next to Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City, Oladipo led the Pacers to the playoffs. Once there, he pushed LeBron’s Cavaliers to seven games in the first round of the postseason.
Along with team success, Oladipo averaged a career-high 23.1 points per game. Due to his massive leap in production, he earned the NBA’s Most Improved Player award for his work in the 2017-18 season.
Prior to the result of Wednesday’s contest against the Raptors, the Pacers possessed a solid 31-15 record. If the postseason started tomorrow, they would own the three seed in the top-heavy Eastern Conference. With Oladipo out, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are serious contenders to push the Pacers down the leaderboard.