PDA

View Full Version : TJ Ford Article



MyFavMartin
07-17-2008, 11:41 AM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080717/SPORTS04/807170424/1004/SPORTS


Pacers will look for leadership from T.J. Ford
By Mike Wells
Indystar.com



T.J. Ford lives for the postseason.

He lives for the national television exposure, the hope of winning an NBA title and having 14 other teams sitting on their couches, eating popcorn, watching him play.
Advertisement

Ford wants those same things to happen with the Indiana Pacers.

"I'm familiar with that playoff taste and I'm not ready to give that taste up," said Ford, who has been to the playoffs in three of his four NBA seasons. "That's the challenge and the goal, to show people we are contenders in the East."

Ford, along with Jarrett Jack, Josh McRoberts and Maceo Baston, were introduced at a news conference Wednesday at Conseco Fieldhouse. Each was acquired in a trade last month.

To return to the playoffs (they've missed the past two), the Pacers are putting the ball -- and some of the necessary leadership -- into the hands of their new playmaker. They hope he brings stability to a position that has been basically a revolving door the past few years.

"These guys' ability to impact the culture of our team is significant," said Pacers coach Jim O'Brien, who was adamant in saying his team needed to address the point guard position. "All their personalities are going to have a great chance to change the culture, and it starts frankly at the point guard spot."

As much as fans believe that Ford, who has started 222 of the 253 games in which he has appeared, is going to be the Pacers' savior, they also wave warning flags about his durability -- something that hampered his predecessor, Jamaal Tinsley.

Ford (6-0, 165) missed the entire 2004-05 season with Milwaukee after suffering a bruised spinal cord during the 2003-04 season. He missed time last season in Toronto after he struck his head on the floor following a foul by Atlanta's Al Horford.

The Pacers have two capable backups in Jack and Travis Diener, but the team is optimistic Ford, who has averaged 63 games a season, will remain healthy.

"I think that comes with my injury (in 2004)," Ford said. "I think a lot of people are wondering if I take a hard fall whether I'm going to get up or not. I think the staff we have here, the things they discussed with me, that can help my situation better than what it is. I think I'll be durable throughout the season."

Don't expect Ford to apologize for being assertive, either.

He still plans to use his speed to aggressively attack the basket -- no matter how big or strong the defender -- and take the "hits" and "bumps," knowing he has to "live with whatever happens on the court."

"T.J. is going to do a tremendous job of pushing me in practice," Jack said, "guarding somebody that is probably the quickest, fastest, whatever you want to call it, guard in the league. I don't know anybody that can't benefit from that."

Ford hasn't put up huge numbers in his career -- 11.6 points, 6.9 assists and 1.3 steals -- and his 3-point shooting (31 percent) won't cause opponents to quiver. O'Brien expects him to be an extended coach and direct a defense O'Brien described Wednesday as "horrible" last season.

"Both (Ford and Jack) said separately, 'You have no worries about my ability to communicate loudly what needs to be done on the basketball court, in practice and in the games,' " O'Brien said. "Frankly that's what every coach looks for. I think last year, guys got tired of listening to my voice because we had a weakness that people on our team did not want to own their own team. I think . . . they understand that a good team is one that is owned by the players."

joeshmoe
07-17-2008, 12:02 PM
Correction: He's been to the playoffs all 4 years.

Naptown_Seth
07-17-2008, 12:42 PM
I think last year, guys got tired of listening to my voice because we had a weakness that people on our team did not want to own their own team.
Let's see:
Tinsley
Diener
Flip...

And then in general it exands out to not having ANY floor leader. We know that this isn't Danny's thing and I have zero problem with that, but you do need someone in that role.

Jonathan
07-17-2008, 12:50 PM
I think TJ Ford will be a very decent player for the Pacers, but he will not be an all star. He will bring us speed, up and down the court but he will also get posted up and bullied on defense at times ie Mark Jackson vs Brevin Knight.

idioteque
07-17-2008, 12:54 PM
I have always been a fan of TJ Ford's game and his attitude. If it wasn't for his spine he could be a top 10 PG in the league.

I really, really hope he succeeds for the Pacers. But after 4 years of sinus infections and bruised knees, I have learned to think the worst of players who aren't incredibly durable. I have been against acquiring him from the beginning because of injury concerns. However, now that we have him I will support him to the fullest and I really hope he succeeds. I also hope someone finds this post someday after TJ has played 4 straight 70 plug game seasons and laughs at me.

Spirit
07-17-2008, 12:54 PM
I predict 14 pts 8 assists next season for him, possibly more though.

BillS
07-17-2008, 01:25 PM
Let's see:
Tinsley
Diener
Flip...

And then in general it exands out to not having ANY floor leader. We know that this isn't Danny's thing and I have zero problem with that, but you do need someone in that role.

What makes me happy is that, unlike whan JO was tossed into the role, Danny will have a mentor as a leader in TJ before he has to be vocal himself.

We may find in a few years that Danny can become a vocal leader of the proper type. It's just that previously he wasn't in the position to be it nor did he have any sort of good example on how to do it.

BorisD
07-17-2008, 05:11 PM
I think TJ Ford will be a very decent player for the Pacers, but he will not be an all star. He will bring us speed, up and down the court but he will also get posted up and bullied on defense at times ie Mark Jackson vs Brevin Knight.
I just spent 2 years watching almost every game TJ played, and trust me when I say you'll be surprised. I've seen him being isolated in the post by Wince Carter, and I just saw him get low, and root him right out of the post and force him into a contested fadeaway. TJ is deceptively strong, and although he's only 6' tall, 1) there aren't a lot of guards any more who have much of a post game, 2) he's pretty built.

My only point of contention about his defense is that he doesn't put as much pressure on the ball as he should at times up high. He's actually fine down low, more than you'd think he would be, at any rate.

Kuq_e_Zi91
07-17-2008, 05:29 PM
"That's the challenge and the goal, to show people we are contenders in the East."

What?? We're contenders in the East? Since when?

I mean, if TJ say so. Gotta love his confidence and leadership ability. He's gonna make Danny a much better player.

MillerTime
07-17-2008, 11:31 PM
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080717/SPORTS04/807170424/1004/SPORTS



The Pacers have two capable backups in Jack and Travis Diener, but the team is optimistic Ford, who has averaged 63 games a season, will remain healthy.

."

its funny how they dont mention Tinsley. Hes still on the roster. This clearly implied that hes not going to be a Pacers next season

JonnyB83
07-19-2008, 10:23 AM
i guess this could be off topic but kind of not since we're talking about point guards here. anyone have an idea of what we're gonna do with flip? i assume we'll just let him walk but i just wanted to know if anyone knew anything.

Hicks
07-19-2008, 11:02 AM
i guess this could be off topic but kind of not since we're talking about point guards here. anyone have an idea of what we're gonna do with flip? i assume we'll just let him walk but i just wanted to know if anyone knew anything.

I don't believe anything's been reported, but the safe assumption is he's gone.

Kuq_e_Zi91
07-19-2008, 03:19 PM
When we signed him last year, the contract was only up until the end of the season. I would assume he's gone.