Written by NBA Expert Analyst Bobby Wallace.
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Indiana Pacers fans in attendance at Bakers Life field house witnessed a devastating knee injury to All-Star guard Victor Oladipo (19.2) points per game. With 4:05 minutes before halftime the Pacers promising season turned sour as Oladipo as usual made a hustle play to defend a Raptors fast break basket. In the aftermatch trainers were seen covering his knee. The Pacers gave Cleveland fits in the 2017-18 first round and with that experience they considered were d a contender for the Eastern Conference. It’s a reminder there’s no certainty in life, with Oladip in the lineup the Pacers win total went from 52 to 51′ according to Las Vegas Bookmakers.
In recent NBA history, TNT announcer Charles Barkley suffered the same injury but it happened the same season he was set to retire. Tony Parker bounced back and is now playing at an elite level in Charlotte.
It also brought back images of another Superstar who dawned a Pacers uniform, Paul George suffered a gruesome leg injury in Las Vegas during an offseason NBA sponsored event. George recovered but the Pacers who were contending with Miami for Eastern Conference supremacy in the LeBron James era in South Florida.
Center Myles Turner is now the main focal point of the franchise and more than that who knows what general manager Chad Buchanan plans are moving forward. Although Oladipo has an excellent offseason workout and conditioning schedule, the question will always remain will he still be the same player?
The Pacers went 0-6 with Oladipo out of the lineup in 2017-18, and 7-4 without their best player as he recovered from a sore right knee during November and December of 2018. In an ironic twist, Indiana acquired Oladipo from Oklahoma City who then got George in return. Drafted by Orlando the former Indiana University product had turned his entire career around in the same state he played College Basketball with Cody Zeller.
This Sports handicapper is rooting for a healthy recovery for one of the most engaging stars in the National Basketball Association. It’s an emotional situation that can fracture the confidence of a young basketball team.
However, McMillan will rally the troops and emphasize staying in the moment with maximum effort on each possession moving forward. Former NBA star Tracy McGrady mentioned on ESPN that he wouldn’t be ready for the 2020 season and the Pacers management will have to make some decisions. Are they going to keep the current roster intact or acquire draft picks for some of their core players?
One thing is for sure Myles Turner isn’t going anywhere. It didn’t take long for the news of the devastating injury to circulate NBA Arena’s reminding everyone who makes claims about professional athletes; they also face career-defining moments. Oladipo is set to make $21 million this season and will get paid but who knows if he’ll be able to meet expectations on the basketball court.
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