Miami Heat guard Victor Oladipo suffered a season-ending knee injury on Saturday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference first round against the Milwaukee Bucks.
With 3:56 remaining in the fourth quarter, Oladipo drove to the basket and landed awkwardly on his left knee. He immediately grabbed his knee and fell to the ground in pain. He was helped off the court by Heat trainers and did not return to the game.
After the game, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said that Oladipo suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee. The injury will require surgery and Oladipo is expected to miss the remainder of the season.
Oladipo’s injury is a major blow to the Heat. He was averaging 12.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game in the playoffs. He was also providing valuable defense and leadership on the court.
The Heat will now have to rely on their other players to step up in Oladipo’s absence. Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and Kyle Lowry will need to carry the load offensively, while P.J. Tucker, Caleb Martin and Max Strus will need to provide more defense.
The Heat are still the favorites to win the series against the Bucks, but Oladipo’s injury will make it more difficult. They will need to play their best basketball if they want to advance to the second round.
Oladipo’s injury is also a setback for his career. He has been plagued by injuries in recent years, missing significant time with a quad injury in 2019-20 and a knee injury in 2021-22. He is hoping to return to full health next season and show that he can still be an All-Star player.