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IC Cold Links: As Losses Mount, Pacers Need To Keep Developing Young Players

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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."

Exactly.

And now Price is not playing.

More links of interest after the jump.