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Kemo
03-24-2009, 08:16 PM
Pacers' Ford handling his demotion like a pro


By Mike Wells
Posted: March 24, 2009
http://cmsimg.indystar.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/persbilde?Avis=BG&ID=mwells&MaxW=60&MaxH=60

http://www.indystar.com/article/20090324/SPORTS04/903240332/1004/SPORTS




T.J. Ford has been in this position before. He knows from his experience with the Toronto Raptors that complaining won't get him far.

That's why the Indiana Pacers point guard is taking the high road after his recent demotion. Pacers coach Jim O'Brien replaced Ford with Jarrett Jack at point guard against Charlotte on Saturday. Ford is taking it in stride, and handling the situation with professionalism.
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"I know how to handle this situation better than I did in the past," said Ford, who was involved in a point guard controversy with the Raptors last season. "It's not a big issue to me. Just do what you're supposed to do, whether they put you in the game or not. It's your job to be ready and be prepared for whatever happens.

"I'm not a person that asks questions or reasons why certain things happen. He's the coach and he has the right to make whatever adjustments he wants."

O'Brien plans to keep Jack in the starting lineup for the time being. If Saturday was any indication, Jack is doing his best to put a stranglehold on the position.

Jack had 31 points on 13-of-14 shooting to go with six rebounds, two assists and just one turnover in 32 minutes.

"I think Jarrett is playing at a very high level," O'Brien said. "Other than Danny (Granger) and (Troy Murphy), nobody owns a starting job, in my estimation. Over a course of a couple of games, if I think we have a better option in the starting lineup, I'm going to do it."

Ford's biggest adjustment this season has been getting used to O'Brien's offense, which relies more on ball movement than dribbling.

O'Brien told Ford during their first meeting following the trade last summer that he could have his "best years in a Pacers uniform," as long as he adapted his game some.

"In high school and in college he was unstoppable off the dribble, but there's a whole different level of game up here," said O'Brien, who'd prefer his point guards give up the ball early in the offense, then be prepared to attack later in the set when the defense is out of position.

Ford has had a tendency to drive the lane and get stuck because teams load up on him, causing him to either force up a shot or turn the ball over. That was more evident when Granger went down with his foot injury, and the Pacers had less firepower.

Ford, who has started 49 games this season, is averaging a team-high 2.49 turnovers to go with 15.1 points an 5.2 assists a game.

"When he was in Toronto, he surrounded himself with perimeter guys. This is a different situation," O'Brien said. "It's a matter of him not getting totally comfortable in his role in the offense as I envisioned it. I always thought it would take him into the next year to fully get it.

"That being said, I thought he played really well against Charlotte coming off the bench. We need him on the court from a standpoint of getting the ball moving and people moving. He just has to take it to the next level."


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LG33
03-24-2009, 08:49 PM
J'OB always seems to buy himself more time.

"When he was in Toronto, he surrounded himself with perimeter guys. This is a different situation," O'Brien said. "It's a matter of him not getting totally comfortable in his role in the offense as I envisioned it. I always thought it would take him into the next year to fully get it."

Bball
03-24-2009, 10:55 PM
I always thought Carlisle was slow to make the obvious move in his rotations... but O'Brien might've just taken this to a whole new level.

At 3/4 of the season in the books, he decided to change TJ's role based on the way he's pretty much played all season? You know, maybe if he made this move 1/8th of the way into the season TJ might've adjusted.... But now?

Erik
03-25-2009, 05:31 AM
"I think Jarrett is playing at a very high level," O'Brien said. Don't forget about this part. This move may have been made earlier in the season if Jack had been playing better, I remember quite a few silly turnovers (like stepping out of bounds) and poor performances from him this year.