The Indiana Pacers just can't catch a break when it comes to injuries.
All-Star forward Domantas Sabonis has suffered a "significant foot injury", according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Indiana's Domantas Sabonis has a signficant foot injury and will leave the Orlando bubble to seek treatment from a specialist, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 24, 2020
Losing a player of Sabonis' caliber for any amount of time would be a huge setback for Indiana. Sabonis ranks second on the team in scoring with 18.5 points per game, and he leads the Pacers with 12.4 rebounds per game. His ability to guard multiple positions also makes him valuable on the defensive end of the floor.
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Pacers point guard Victor Oladipo, the team's best player, missed most of the season recovering from a severe leg injury suffered during the 2018-19 campaign. Oladipo said a few weeks back that he wouldn't play in the league's seeding games, but now it's possible that he could participate. He started Thursday's scrimmage against the Portland Trail Blazers in the Orlando bubble and played 19 minutes.
These injuries not only impact the Pacers, but the rest of the Eastern Conference contenders as well.
The Pacers are currently tied with the Philadelphia 76ers for the fifth-best record in the East playoff race. In the likely event that the Sixers finish ahead of the Pacers, Indiana could be staring at a first-round matchup with the Boston Celtics. The Celtics will enter the league's restart as the No. 3 seed in the conference, which is where they'll likely end up once the eight seeding games conclude unless the second-place Toronto Raptors struggle mightily. So, if the Celtics finish third and the Pacers come in sixth, these teams would meet in Round 1 for the second consecutive season.
A Pacers team decimated by injuries would be a much more appealing first-round series for the Celtics than a matchup against a very talented 76ers side that won three of four meetings versus Boston during the regular season.