Swine flu has nothing on the Indiana Pacers.
The team's injury epidemic continued during last night's 108-94 win against the Warriors as starting point guard T.J. Ford went down five minutes into the first quarter with back spasms. He didn't return and he's questionable for Saturday's game against Eastern Conference powerhouse Boston Celtics.
Ford's injury joins a long list of the wounded on the blue and gold's roster: Troy Murphy (back), Danny Granger (heel), Mike Dunleavy (knee), Luther Head (foot), Brandon Rush (ankle), Travis Diener (toe) and Jeff Foster (ankle). The plethora of injuries forced coach Jim O'Brien to call off practice today. "Frankly, we wouldn't be able to field enough guys to practice with," O'Brien told Bruno. "That's how banged-up we are right now."
Rush and Head both played last night, with Rush putting up a very quiet 11 points in 34 minutes. Both should be able to play on Saturday, along with (fingers crossed) Ford and the return of Murphy. So, while the Pacers rest of up for the opportunity to win four straight for the first time in two years, here are some links to keep you occupied. More after the jump.
- AP Story
- Box Score
- Photo Gallery
- Bruno gives us his postgame report where he notes that the Pacers had more free-throw attempts (34-24) for the third time this season, all of which were wins. Here's coach Jim O'Brien on the game:
"We did some positive things tonight. Earl really stepped up and led us. You don't like T.J. (Ford) to go down, but it's nice to know you've got somebody like Earl to come in and play the way he played. He's been a breath of fresh air. Danny played within himself. I think he moved well and he passed well, especially in the first half. He scored, distributed and rebounded. He played a very solid brand of basketball." -- Jim O'Brien
- Here is also link to Bruno's live blog from the Pacers win.
- John Oehser pulled double-duty again as he wrote this story for the front page of NBA.com, while also recapping the game for his Examiner.com page.
- Mike Wells produced three separate stories to recap how the Pacers dismantled the Warriors. The game recap captures the moment of the Pacers winning three straight for the first time in one year. If the Pacers win against Boston on Saturday, it will be the first time the team has won four in a row since the end of the 07-08 season. Wells also comments about Earl Watson's standout job filling in for the injured T.J. Ford, while also giving Pacers fans their update on ex-Pacer Stephen Jackson.
- Here's the game recap from Pacers blog Always Miller Time.
- Eight Points, Nine Seconds previewed the game with some more in-depth statistical analysis.
- SB Nation's Golden State of Mind is in a depressing mood after watching things unfold in Indiana. So glad Jackson is the Warriors' problem and not the Pacers' issue. I wish I could feel empathy for you, but I just can't do it.
- The San Francisco Chronicle tackles Jackson's mysterious injury that he doesn't know about, yet apparently coach Don Nelson diagnosed early in the game, thus sitting the disgruntled player for most of the game. Needless to say, Jackson was not happy again. Nelson said that he sat Jackson because he had a "sore back or hip or something." Jackson disagreed. "I'm fine," Jackson said postgame at the arena where he played 2004-07. "I've got a scratch. That's all it is. My back is not sore at all. Regardless of where I'm at, I want to play. I have no control over that, but I want to play, regardless of if I'm in Africa or wherever. I know I could have done more than I did." Jackson doesn't realize, of course, that even the Kenyan National Team wouldn't touch his contract at this point.
- Granger earned top honors from ESPN's Daily Dime for his performance last night. Rookie Tyler Hansbrough also received some recognition for his good play in little playing time, but it paled in comparison to fellow rookie Brandon Jennings last night. The Bucks' rook dropped 32 points to help the team down the Nuggets.