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Preseason Open Thread #6: Indiana Pacers vs. Orlando Magic

The Indiana Pacers' play their penultimate preseason game tonight in Orlando against Dwight Howard and his Magic teammates.

Jim O'Brien will likely replicate his regular season rotations since injuries and free agent cuts leave the Pacers with just ten healthy bodies to play. T.J. Ford will rest a bothersome hammy so expect Earl Watson to slide into the starting lineup and play plenty of minutes.

Speaking of Watson, Bruno's report from training camp yesterday focused on Watson's role on the team and according to JOB, it sounds like the coach plans to use Wastson the same way he did Jarrett Jack, which means floor time alongside T.J. Ford.

Watson has played a bunch of preseason minutes with Ford, but I'm still a bit surprised to hear JOB's plans for the super smal lineup. The two guards may be able to pressure the ball well and Watson does play bigger than his height thanks to his wingspan, but still, giving up those perimeter shots to bigger shooting guards is a risk. Especially with an admittedly struggling interior defense.

Heading into the season, a small lineup might actually be bigger on the perimeter with Ford, Dahtay Jones, Brandon Rush and Danny Granger alongside your choice of big player. Can the small quick guards create matchup problems for opponents that will exceed the matchup problems the bigger guards will definitely present the Pacers?

Listen to Mark Boyle and Slick Leonard (I think Slick is back, otherwise Austin Croshere) on 1070 The Fan and use the comments to offer up your thoughts on the game or anything else about the Pacers as we creep closer to the start of the season.