Victor Oladipo and the Indiana Pacers were off to a strong start through nearly half of the 2018-19 NBA season. Unfortunately, a gruesome injury ended Oladipo’s year before the All-Star break. The 26-year-old guard had played 36 games of his second season with the Pacers and the team looked like arguably a top-three team in the Eastern Conference.
Shortly after the injury occurred, the Pacers broke the news that an MRI on the All-Star guard revealed he had suffered a ruptured quad tendon.
Victor Oladipo underwent an MRI Thursday that revealed he has a ruptured quad tendon in his right knee, sustained with 4:05 to play in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game against Toronto. He will undergo surgery at a date to be determined and will be out for the season. Further updates will be provided as warranted.
Now they’re in a 3-0 hole against the Boston Celtics in the 1st Round of the NBA Playoffs with a game in Indianapolis Sunday afternoon. Oladipo is now in attendance in street clothes in front of a raucous crowd at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
With possibly one game left to go, let’s let at the record before and after Oladipo exited this season.
Pacers Record Since Victor Oladipo Suffered Knee Injury
Indiana entered Jan. 23 against the Toronto Raptors with a 31-15 record and the No. 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. It left with the same seed and a 32-15 mark, but without Oladipo for the rest of the season.
What followed was a 4-game losing streak, including double-digit blowouts to the Warriors in Indianapolis and the Wizards in Washington. Since the injury, the Pacers are 16-22, including a 16-19 stretch to end the regular season.
UPDATE: With Sunday’s series-ending loss to the Celtics, the record since his injury is now 16-23.
At the same time, the Brooklyn Nets, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat, Charlotte Hornets and Orlando Magic were battling for the final 3 seed in the Eastern Conference. Against them since the injury, Indiana went 4-4, including a 2-1 mark against the Pistons.
Through 36 games this season, Oladipo posted averages of 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game. In his place, Bogdan Bogdanovic stepped up by scoring 20.7 points per game the rest of the season.
One of the shortcomings came as no one consistently took over Bogdanovic’s role as the 2nd scorer. Wesley Matthews was the next closest, notching 10.8 points per contest.
This is a team with a bright future once Oladipo returns, as it pushed LeBron James and the Cavaliers to 7 games in last year’s 1st round. Once its full complement comes back, it can advance past the lower half of the conference, which will require not playing a team such as the Celtics in the opening round again.