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IC Cold Links: T.J. Ford Ready To Play, Pistons Arrive In Good Shape

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Earl Watson's absence opens up a spot in the playing rotation for T.J. Ford, the Pacers high-priced point guard who has struggled to find his way in Jim O'Brien's offense. Ford hasn't played in the past 18 games, since JOB decided to give rookie, A.J. Price some consistent minutes to see how he can play.

To his credit, Ford has put on a positive public face during the demotion, usually leading the team out when they take the court and doing his part from the bench to motivate teammates. Obviously, Ford would loved to be moved by the trade deadline but has refrained from any type of demands.

The Pacers would like to move Ford, as well, but his $8.5 million player option along with his struggles this year make it tough to find any takers. I do think Ford can help a team with a different system where he's not in a lead role. While he's been inconsistent for the Pacers, he had his moments with the Pacers where he's taken over parts of games and provided a spark to secure a win.

Maybe his play this weekend will spark some late interest, although NBA teams know players and just because Ford has been on the bench lately doesn't mean other teams that may have a need don't know his game and how he might fit with their team. Still, sometimes you're only as good as your last game and right now, for Ford that's a distant memory. Tonight he'll try to shake off a little rust and remind people that he can still play.

After the jump, a few links of interest including a special Super Crate episode with Dan Klores.