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Short-Handed Pacers Set To Tip Off Preseason

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The Indiana Pacers open their preseason schedule tonight when they host Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. The Pacers will be without the services of several players which is both a bummer and a blessing in disguise. Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough, Travis Diener and Earl Watson (wife having a baby) are definitely out and I also don't expect Troy Murphy to play on his gimpy ankle. On JMV today (audio link), Murph mentioned he might give it a try against the Bulls, but in this case "we'll see" probably means few if any minutes.

The sweetest lemonade I can squeeze out of those lemons is the fact that rookie A.J. Price should get plenty of point guard minutes. Also, we should get a good long look at Solomon Jones and Josh McRoberts, two players fighting for front court minutes.

Jones remains an unknown quantity so getting a chance to digest some extended minutes will be real nice. Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking to draw any conclusions during the first preseason game but we should be able to get a feel for the guy's game. The key for preseason game number one is to have your expectations properly adjusted.

Me? I'm expecting a discombobulated mess at several points during the game. New faces will contribute to most of the playing rotations, plus a rookie point guard will be running a few of those fresh five-man combinations. Also, the three free agent camp invitees should be pumped and ready to take advantage of an opportunity to play. So when you combine excitement with unfamiliarity you can expect a little bit of everything, from good to bad to crazy. In other words: Preseason game one.

Here are a few more links of interest: