The Indiana Pacers are in the midst of a big slump, with losses in seven of their last 10 games, including a 46-point defeat to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday. And now, things have gone from bad to worse. Early on Monday afternoon, the team announced that key guard Jeremy Lamb will be out for the remainder of the season due to a devastating knee injury that includes a torn ACL, torn meniscus and lateral femoral condylar fracture.
Early in the second quarter against the Raptors, Lamb got out on the fastbreak and, after taking a pass from TJ McConnell, went up for a slam. He was fouled in mid-air by Terence Davis, and landed awkwardly on his left leg, which bent completely the wrong way. Somehow, he managed to stay in the game to shoot his free throws -- making both -- but later hobbled off the floor and to the locker room.
While perhaps not a household name, Lamb had been a key part of the Pacers' rotation this season after signing a three-year deal with the team in free agency last summer. He started 42 games, and was an important factor in helping the team exceed expectations in Victor Oladipo's absence.
Averaging 12.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 steals, while shooting 33.5 percent from 3-point land, Lamb could do a little bit of everything, and was a solid all-around player. Losing him will hurt the Pacers as they continue to chase homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Heading into Monday's slate of games, the Pacers are in sixth place in the East at 33-24, which has them 3.5 games behind the fourth-place Miami Heat. There's still time to make up that gap, but they'll have their work cut out for them, especially after Lamb's injury.