Domantas Sabonis has been a pleasant surprise for the Pacers this season after adding the second-year big man this offseason as part of the Paul George trade. Sabonis has averaged 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per game in 24.7 minutes per, helping Indiana exceed expectations and put together a 42-31 record so far, good for fifth in the East.
The Gonzaga product has missed the past five games however with a left ankle sprain but was hoping for a return to the court on Sunday afternoon against the Heat. Unfortunately, Sabonis suffered a setback in pregame warmups that forced him to remain sidelined as Indiana took on Miami in a game with playoff seeding implications out East.
Sabonis tweaked that injured left ankle in a bizarre and unfortunate manner during his warmup, as he stepped on the foot of a ball boy after a layup, causing him to fall to the floor and walk off to the locker room in frustration.
It’s not the strangest way an NBA player has been injured this season, but stepping on a ball boy in warmups is certainly up there with the least expected ways to be injured. You can’t really fault the ball boy here as he’s looking for the ball to rebound and do his job, but next time he might want to have one eye on the player and ensure he’s not in the path before he sets his sights on a board.
Hopefully this setback won’t cause Sabonis to miss too much more time, but for an Indiana team that’s a half game behind Philly for the 4-seed and just 1.5 games up on Washington in sixth, they can’t afford to have rotation guys missing extra time.