When TJ Ford is the best player on the team, you know the team is in trouble.
That was exactly the case tonight, when the Indiana Pacers lost to the Milwaukee Bucks, 93-81.
Ford, filling in for Earl Watson (attending family funeral), scored 20 points (8-11 shooting) and added 3 rebounds and 3 assists in 26 minutes. The second highest scorer for the team was Danny Granger, who had another awful shooting night to finish with 14 points on 5-14 shooting. Brandon Rush has a triple nickel (5 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds), and Roy Hibbert had 10 points and 5 fouls in 25 minutes.
Interesting dilemma for Coach O'Brien when Earl Watson returns next game. Does he keep playing TJ Ford, who has been performing great since returning from his involuntary exile, or does he go back to the AJ Price/Watson combo he previously said gave the team its best chance to win (eg from approximately 20% to 23%)?
Personal opinion - keep playing Ford - but not because he gives the Pacers a better chance to win. We've seen enough of Ford this season to know that he is not the answer at PG, and a couple of good games shouldn't make us all have renewed faith in him. I say play him and let him have a few more good games so that other teams will actually consider trading for him, then get rid of him as fast as they can.
There, I said it.
On the other hand, Troy Murphy might not want to leave Indiana after all. He only had 6 points today and got dominated in the post by Bogut and Mbah a Moute (I love that name).
Just so you know, the Pacers are now 18-33. Man, those 36-46 seasons never looked so good.