Time to exhale and enjoy the All-Star festivities while the Indiana Pacers take a week off to rest and regroup after losing yet another game last night to Chicago.
The Pacers hit the break with 34 losses which is currently tied with Sacramento (Kings have one more game tonight) for the fourth most L's in the league. Considering the brutal schedule ahead after the break the Pacers appear locked in where they are for the remainder of the season.
So once again, let me implore Jim O'Brien to give the youngster their run which I guess boils down to letting A.J. Price play. If and when Tyler Hansbrough is available again, he will play. Plus, Roy Hibbert and Brandon Rush are getting their share of burn, so I'm back to begging for more development time for Rush.
Now I've learned to take Jim O'Brien's comments with a grain of salt. His goal is to exit an interview without saying anything startling and making everyone sound good. I think he believes whatever he says at the moment he says it, but he may think differently ten minutes later. But a comment from last night stuck with me as he was sugar-coating Price's exit from the playing rotation.
"We always said come Jan. 1, if we were not hitting on all cylinders that we would use (Price) and see what we had," O'Brien said. "It's been a valuable five weeks to evaluate our (second-round) pick and to be able to project him into the future. I think he's done well. He's learning every game that he's playing."
Yeah, yeah, yeah...WAIT! What was last line again? "He's learning every game that he's playing."
And now Price is not playing.
More links of interest after the jump.
PACERS: Inside the Game: Bulls 109, Pacers 101
Bruno's Inside the Game has all of the numbers, notes, quotes and highlights.
- Cliff Brunt's AP Report
Pacers go into break on a real downer
Mike Wells reports on the Pacers letting one last game slip away before a week off for the All-Star break. Earl Watson did his best to squeeze out something positive from the break. "I guess it is a good time for the break," point guard Earl Watson said. "The break is always good unless you're on a winning streak. For us, right now, it could be seen as a time to get mentally refreshed."
Tyrus Thomas big help in 109-101 Chicago Bulls victory
K.C. Jones reports on Tyrus Thomas returning to action and making a positive impact for the Bulls.
Turning on the 'D'
John Jackson reports on the Bulls slowing down the Pacers to finally take control of the game last night and leave with a win.
Bulls 109, Pacers 101: Ugly yet necessary
Blog A Bull is happy with the win for Chicago even if it lacked style points.
Pacers Notebook: Hansbrough gets number retired tonight at UNC
Mike Wells informs us on Tyler Hansbrough having his number retired at the Dean Dome, Danny Granger taking in the Saints win at the Super Bowl and A.J. Price going back to the bench.
Pacers Insider: Price goes from first to third
Mike Wells posts about A.J. Price falling out of the playing rotation and also includes an update on trade chatter out of Cleveland involving Troy Murphy.
J.J. Hickson's role in deadline trade deals becoming more unlikely
This is the Brian Windhorst article Wells references including this juicy information: "According to sources, the Cavs have made some progress in talks with the Indiana Pacers over power forward Troy Murphy. But the Pacers, like many teams, still want Hickson. The Pacers, a source said, are also in talks with the Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings involving Murphy and both teams can offer expiring contracts. "
Hansbrough excited to join UNC legends
Bruno's latest Caught In The Web checks in with Tyler Hansbrough as he preps for a ceremony to retire his number at UNC. Also, nuggets on Foster's back and Price's concussion.
Tyrus Thomas can be yours
KD digs into why Tyrus Thomas is on the trading block and worthy of a look by other teams.
NBA Power Rankings: Where Teams Look Ahead To The All-Star Break
Mike P has the latest power rankings up at SB Nation. The Pacers hang in at a lofty 24 once again.