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View Full Version : Ford's play raises question for Pacers



Trophy
02-08-2010, 12:51 PM
http://www.indystar.com/article/20100208/SPORTS04/2080330/1062/SPORTS04/Ford-s-play-raises-question-for-Pacers

(Mike Wells)

Indiana Pacers coach Jim O'Brien is about to cross a bridge he didn't anticipate less than a week ago.

Three point guards, all showing that they deserve playing time.

The problem stems from O'Brien's preference for playing only two of them because he does not like using three point guards during a game.

There is veteran Earl Watson, whom O'Brien refers to as a leader because of his calming demeanor on the court. Watson has spent several days away from the team because of a death in his family.

There is A.J. Price, the player who was supposed to spend most of his rookie season on the bench watching and learning the NBA game.

And there is T.J. Ford, the speedster who played with a don't-forget-me attitude in the past two games.

Somebody is going to be unhappy with O'Brien's decision.

"We'll find out (how this plays out)," O'Brien said after Saturday night's loss to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ford would still be stuck on the end of the bench in a supporting role if not for Watson's brief absence.

It would have been easy for O'Brien to send Ford back to the bench when Watson returns for Tuesday's game against the Chicago Bulls if Ford had played badly.

But Ford played well.

"No, I'm not surprised (about my play) because at the end of the day it's a win-lose situation," Ford said. "The only successful thing that can come out of this is me playing well. If I didn't play well, it could have been for multiple reasons. It just showed that even though I wasn't playing, I was still getting a workout in. I was mentally ready for whatever happened.

"It's about being patient, but you know in the NBA, things are always going to come back around."

Ford showed little rust after his 18-game absence by scoring 31 points on 13-of-20 shooting to go with eight assists, six rebounds and two steals in the two games. He also hit 3-of-4 3-pointers.

Ford's recent performances could entice teams to make a run at him before the Feb. 18 trade deadline.

He took the high road when asked if he thought he deserved to remain in the rotation.

"Whatever the team needs from me, I'm here to do it," Ford said. "I'm not trying to make any demands or cause a problem. Of course I want to play, but it's up to the coach and what he feels is best for the team right now.

"I'm trying to be supportive and do whatever job they need me to do. Whether that's playing or rooting other guys on."

Price got a shot in the rotation because O'Brien wanted to see if he fit into the team's future. Price is averaging 9.3 points and 2.6 assists in 21 games since moving into the rotation. There is a chance O'Brien may not have to make a decision immediately if Price is not able to play against the Bulls.

Price suffered a concussion when he was poked in his left eye by Bucks center Andrew Bogut in the third quarter Saturday. Price said he hopes to play Tuesday.

BobbyMac
02-08-2010, 12:55 PM
I thougth he played well in the first game, not quite as well in the Bucks game...he got caught in the air with the ball trying to make a pass once or twice....no excuse for a pro to get in that situation.

Sookie
02-08-2010, 12:55 PM
...

Please please please don't play Ford JOB. Don't do it.

The Price and Watson PG combo is sooooo much better.

The only positive to playing Ford would be, that if you played a Price/Ford backcourt, and it was decent, we might not have to worry about signing another point guard...

but Ford is really just a terrible point guard.

MillerTime
02-08-2010, 01:05 PM
...

Please please please don't play Ford JOB. Don't do it.

The Price and Watson PG combo is sooooo much better.

The only positive to playing Ford would be, that if you played a Price/Ford backcourt, and it was decent, we might not have to worry about signing another point guard...

but Ford is really just a terrible point guard.

Ford does not deserve to be glued to the bench. This is totally unfair to him. I like the fact that Ford hasnt said anything public about his benching. Most players would have went straight to the media and expressed their opinions

Speed
02-08-2010, 01:12 PM
If Obie plays Ford (a player they don't want here) and Watson (a player that isn't under contract next year) over AJ Price, potential for the future, it's a crime.

Sookie
02-08-2010, 01:13 PM
Ford does not deserve to be glued to the bench. This is totally unfair to him. I like the fact that Ford hasnt said anything public about his benching. Most players would have went straight to the media and expressed their opinions

If you're only going to play 2PGs, he is most certainly the third PG. And has proved so over and over again this season.

Heck, he didn't even have a good game for a point guard last game. He had a good scoring game.

Now, if JOB wants to give Ford Head's minutes..as a scorer off the bench. That's one thing. But Ford should be the third PG on this team. In fact I think scorer off the bench would be a really good role for Ford.

But for the PG, really?

I mean, who do you want him to play over? AJ? Yea, that's a good idea, the kid's probably the best PG on the team, has been playing well, the team plays better with him in and it's not like this is a contending team where we need the vets..but yes, let's bench him for no reason. At least Ford deserved his benching.

Or Watson? Someone whose been consistent and solid the whole year. Who is respected by his teammates (remember, Ford's teammates don't like playing with him) Who is a leader, who'll probably help develope Price (as opposed to Price learning from Ford..because we all want that.) And what, he loses his starting spot because of a death in the family? Because T.J. Ford had an efficient scoring game.

Don't forget..we saw good T.J. these past two games, and he still had 4 turnovers in his last outing.

I'm not even saying this as a concerned Price fan. Honestly, this is more about TJ vs Watson, because there isn't any logical reason to play TJ and Watson over Price. There are a few logical reasons to play TJ over Watson, but I think that's just bad for the team.

Unclebuck
02-08-2010, 01:16 PM
I expect Ford to back up Watson (assuming earl is back( because Price suffered a concussion and they should be extra cautious and sit him out this game

McKeyFan
02-08-2010, 02:07 PM
If Obie plays Ford (a player they don't want here) and Watson (a player that isn't under contract next year) over AJ Price, potential for the future, it's a crime.

Yes, and JOS runs a syndicate.

MLB007
02-08-2010, 02:07 PM
how do you get a concussion from a poke in the eye? didn't see it.

Unclebuck
02-08-2010, 02:15 PM
how do you get a concussion from a poke in the eye? didn't see it.

The guys hand impacted Prices head mainly - also poked him in the eye

DrFife
02-08-2010, 02:27 PM
I'm starting to think about the benefits--after this season--of trading Watson.

If we can't trade Ford, why not keep him the rest of this disastrous year to back up Price? Watson could help a contender and, with a peanuts contract, would be attractive as well ... meaning we might be able to squeeze a draft pick out of the trade.

Sookie
02-08-2010, 02:30 PM
I'm starting to think about the benefits--after this season--of trading Watson.

If we can't trade Ford, why not keep him the rest of this disastrous year to back up Price? Watson could help a contender and, with a peanuts contract, would be attractive as well ... meaning we might be able to squeeze a draft pick out of the trade.

With all the guard injuries the Cavs have, that might be a sweetner along with Murphy. Perhaps We'd get something more than Z and the #30th First round pick.

But really...and perhaps this is just selfish of me..I don't want to watch Ford play point. Period.

Anthem
02-08-2010, 02:30 PM
Yeah, I'd say Ford's play raises questions for the Pacers.

Specifically, "I wonder what we could get for Ford?"

mildlysane
02-08-2010, 02:35 PM
Yeah, I'd say Ford's play raises questions for the Pacers.

Specifically, "I wonder what we could get for Ford?"
That is what I was thinking as well.

Naptown_Seth
02-08-2010, 03:02 PM
The problem stems from O'Brien's preference for playing only two of them because he does not like using three point guards during a game.:spitout:



BTW, I'm firmly in the camp of Watson/Price (and at some point even flipping that), but letting TJ fill the same role as Luther Head, the scoring/combo guard for short bursts. Maybe some games you don't go to TJ if he's cold or Head is hot, or vice versa. You don't use either as PG unless you have an emergency (injury, fouls) and you don't let either run amuck with poor shooting, especially since you have two of them.

Some nights you stay bigger and Rush/DJ stay at SG so much that Head/TJ don't see much or any PT. Some nights you are frontline thin or have a good smallball matchup and they do play.

Or you can just see Watson/Price as "100% never, ever let TJ on the court" which is a really reasonable way of handling it. Ooops, green that.

sportfireman
02-08-2010, 03:15 PM
how do you get a concussion from a poke in the eye? didn't see it.

Bogut's hand is so big it probably felt like being hit with a frying pan............ouch!!!!!!

CableKC
02-08-2010, 03:31 PM
:spitout:



BTW, I'm firmly in the camp of Watson/Price (and at some point even flipping that), but letting TJ fill the same role as Luther Head, the scoring/combo guard for short bursts. Maybe some games you don't go to TJ if he's cold or Head is hot, or vice versa. You don't use either as PG unless you have an emergency (injury, fouls) and you don't let either run amuck with poor shooting, especially since you have two of them.

Some nights you stay bigger and Rush/DJ stay at SG so much that Head/TJ don't see much or any PT. Some nights you are frontline thin or have a good smallball matchup and they do play.

Or you can just see Watson/Price as "100% never, ever let TJ on the court" which is a really reasonable way of handling it. Ooops, green that.
This is what I'm thinking. The question raised to me ( when AJ returns ) is not whether Ford should play ahead of Watson or AJ....it's whether Ford plays ahead of Head or not as a 4th/5th Guard off the bench.

On any other Teams where it's more structured....Ford would likely be a Starter or Backup Guard....in the "whatever you have" Offense that we run, Ford would be a good Guard Option to come in behind Dunleavy ( assuming that his shot isn't falling ) and next to Head ( based off of matchups and whether we play against a non-athletic Frontcourt ) in the PG/SG rotation as a "scorer off the bench" when we hit a scoring slump.

dohman
02-08-2010, 03:54 PM
Did ford really make more 3's in two games then he has in the whole season! With shooting like that he will never come out again!!!!!

But seriously maybe sitting did a little for his shooting touch.

ksuttonjr76
02-08-2010, 09:52 PM
Doesn't like 3 PGs? Whatever. Just play Watson/Ford or Price/Ford at the same time, then bench D. Jones since he can't hit 3's. Offense over defense, right?

BlueNGold
02-08-2010, 10:08 PM
I look it as a nice problem to have. Ford is not what anyone should want as a starting PG...but there was a day when we were actually a lot weaker at that position.

Remember when Diener was the man? Not a big difference and not a big deal, but we probably now have 3 PG's better than Diener.

I say play the two PG's who matchup the best against the opponent....and let #3 sit.

Noodle
02-08-2010, 11:08 PM
I'm starting to think about the benefits--after this season--of trading Watson.

I believe that after this season Watson will be gone anyway, and the team can't afford to resign him. Maybe he could be a filler in a trade this year since he really isn't a part of our future plans. Other than that, he's a goner.

Pacers Salaries (http://hoopshype.com/salaries/indiana.htm)

On that note, I say sit Watson once/if the team comes to reality that the season is lost. It's not a popular statement here based on what I've read, but it makes sense to start Price and bring Ford in as backup. That is of course assuming Ford cannot be traded first, and that would be a welcome miracle.

Thesterovic
02-08-2010, 11:25 PM
I'd play AJ 20 minutes, Watson 16, TJ 12. AJ is the best of the three, so he should start and get the majority. Watson brings defense and playmaking. TJ can be that scoring punch off the bench. Notice 48 minutes. 48. Minutes. All at point guard. Repeat. All at point guard. None of these guys are shooting guards.

jeffg-body
02-08-2010, 11:27 PM
My thoughts when I found out TJ was going to play was: Are they gonna showcase TJ in stretches right up to the deadline to show some other teams that he still has it in him to be a good player in the right system?

Major Cold
02-09-2010, 06:56 AM
Beyond the playing. TJ is not the new Tinsley. His attitude through this to the media has been impeccable.

count55
02-09-2010, 08:14 AM
Beyond the playing. TJ is not the new Tinsley. His attitude through this to the media has been impeccable.

Before some of the more rabid Tinsley defenders jump in here, it should be noted that Tinsley's interaction with the media was never really the problem. In fact, he studiously kept his mouth shut throughout the entire exile and has been nothing but diplomatic since his departure. It certainly could have been far uglier, had he chose to make it so.

It is apparent that the problems with Jamaal, beyond the more publicized events, were internal disciplinary and locker room problems.

All that being said, TJ has responded to difficult situations twice with a decent amount of grace. He played very well after being demoted late last season, and, to all appearances, he has been nothing but a good teammate and professional after falling out of the rotation.

Still, I'm sure TJ will return to the DNP-CD's, perhaps as early as tonight, once Watson and Price are ready to go.

cinotimz
02-09-2010, 09:12 AM
In those two games he had to have helped his trade value. Why mess with it. Lets not give him a chance to have another bad game. Just a little taste and it was relatively good....so now just wait for someone to get desperate.

count55
02-09-2010, 09:39 AM
In those two games he had to have helped his trade value. Why mess with it. Lets not give him a chance to have another bad game. Just a little taste and it was relatively good....so now just wait for someone to get desperate.

He did nothing for his trade value in the last two games, nor would he in the final two games before the deadline.