Oladipo: Pacers Must 'Persevere' After Losing Lamb For Season

Sam Amico

Almost as soon as Victor Oladipo returns for the Indiana Pacers, Jeremy Lamb goes down.

In case you missed it, Lamb suffered a torn ACL, a torn MCL and a broken knee cap in a blowout loss in Toronto on Sunday. He is out for the season and who knows how long after that.

It's a pretty big blow for a Pacers team that continues to surprise the league by quietly staying in striking distance of a top-four playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. They enter Tuesday's home game vs, Charlotte with a 33-24 record and the sixth seed.

Lamb is 6-foot-5 and signed a three-year, $31.5 million deal with the Pacers over the summer. He spent the previous four seasons with the Hornets. This year, he's averaging 12.5 points on 45 percent shooting. 

“We go through life, and when tough things happen, we say ‘I can’t imagine what you’re going through’, but I know exactly what he’s going through,” Oladipo told reporters. “I know his head is kinda all over the place. He’s just gotta embrace the process and trust it. He’ll come back just fine."

It was a little more than a year ago that Oladipo suffered a torn quad tendon, also in a game against the Raptors. He is playing again but coming back slowly and seemingly laboring a bit. You can be certain Lamb will have to do the same, whenever that may be.

“Everything happens for a reason, and that’s something he’ll learn about himself going through this process," Oladipo said. "He’s got to open his ears and quiet his mind, quiet his heart, quiet his mouth and listen, ‘cause there’s a lot to learn through this process. Trust me.”

Now, the Pacers will need to find someone to fill the perimeter role that Lamb had been performing admirably.

“Honestly, it’s next man up. Guys gotta be ready to play now, and we’ve gotta figure it out," Oldaipo said. "Plain and simple. Figure it out. If we want to win, we’ve got to figure it out. It’s a part of life. 

"Unfortunately, things happen. You lose games, and people get injured, but it’s about character. About how you bounce back, about how you persevere. That’s what people judge you by.”