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Groggy fan can only think of Victor Oladipo after having his tooth pulled out

Victor Oladipo

The Indiana Pacers’ performance immediately after Victor Oladipo suffered a devastating and season-ending injury confirmed what we already knew. Nate McMillan’s team lost four straight games in the wake of its best player suffering a ruptured quad on January 23, including defeats at hand of the Memphis Grizzlies and Washington Wizards.

No one ever doubted Oladipo’s importance to the Pacers, even as he quietly struggled to match his breakout level of play in 2017-18. When he went down, it was a foregone conclusion that Indiana’s hopes of making noise in the Eastern Conference playoffs were long gone, while some were convinced they could drop out of playoff positioning altogether – a possibility that seemed far more likely after those first four games.

But the Pacers were resilient, shrugging off those damning struggles to win eight of their next nine games and barely miss out on home-court advantage in the first round of the postseason. Of course, their surprisingly strong play following Oladipo’s injury is easily forgotten after the underachieving Boston Celtics swept them out of the playoffs.

The 2018-19 season was a rollercoaster ride for Indiana fans, basically, and recent news that Victor Oladipo isn’t scheduled to return until December has put them through the ringer again. Just ask Zach Pearson, who shared a heartfelt message with his favorite team’s rehabbing franchise player after taking a sedative to undergo a dental procedure.

“Ahhhhh. Oladipo is so good. He is such a good player. He dunks it all the time. I want Victor to come back.”

You and every other NBA fan, sedated Zach.