The Indiana Pacers were rolling along with a 31-15 record, as they hosted one of the other Eastern Conference contenders on Wednesday night. With the Pacers leading in the game over the Toronto Raptors, Victor Oladipo suffered a significant knee injury. Sources with the team are saying his 2018-2019 season is over. Oladipo is slated to undergo an MRI today in Indianapolis to evaluate the full damage.
The injury happened in the 2nd quarter of the game when Oladipo attempted to steal a pass to Raptors forward Pascal Siakam. The crowd went silent after seeing his leg bend awkwardly on his way down to the floor. Siakam did not see the injury, but was quoted after the game saying “it was really scary.”
The Pacers picked up Oladipo in 2017 in the trade that sent Paul George to the Oklahoma City Thunder. He made the NBA All-Star team for the first time last season as well. The former Indiana University star was having a fantastic season for the Pacers; scoring 18.8 points per game, ripping down 5.6 rebounds and dishing out 5.2 assists. The Pacers find themselves currently in third place in the Eastern Conference standings, and now just 2.5 games behind the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks after beating Toronto.
Indiana was favored to beat the Raptors in this game only because Toronto superstar Kawhi Leonard was not playing. Indiana did indeed come away with the win despite losing Oladipo for the season.
So what does this do to the future odds to win the Eastern Conference and NBA Championship? Before this injury, Vegas listed five teams with a real chance at winning the Eastern Conference. With no Oladipo, Indiana could see their odds drop quite low and maybe out of the top teams in the East.
As for the NBA Finals odds, Indiana was listed at +6500 (65 to 1). Many are projecting the Pacers will fall to +7500 (75 to 1) when the updated odds are released.
Image from 123RF.