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IC Cold Links: Pacers Look To Future On Road To Nowhere

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No foul. Keep playing.
No foul. Keep playing.

The Indiana Pacers are staring an 0-4 road trip squarely in the eye after letting a win slip through their hands (literally) last night against the Golden State Warriors. With games this weekend at Portland and Denver before heading home, a couple more losses could make this a season-defining trip. The tipping point when the immediate results of the here and now officially give way to the future.

Last night, T.J. Ford, Solomon Jones and James Posey all collected DNP-CDs. All three would rank near the top of anyone's list of players not considered in any future plans for the Pacers. I figured something was up when Ford tweeted earlier in the day, "Remember the unexpected is always around the corner #stayfocus."

Considering the results haven't been great with the vets, it makes sense to ride the young players and see what they can offer. A.J. Price struggled last night, but giving him a long look at the backup role won't drastically alter the season to make it any worse than it is right now. Plus, some of the young players on the roster may be topics of trade discussions as we head toward the trade deadline. As the losses mount, so do the external factors .

Despite the recent losses, the offense is trending in the right direction. Late game execution has been a problem and last night killed the Pacers. Well, the 27 points Golden State scored off turnovers killed the Pacers, but there were still plenty of opportunities for the team to overcome that glaring number and still win.

The next step is for Jim O'Brien to trust some of the young players to play down the stretch. Paul George and Tyler Hansbrough have shown their not afraid to make plays. They may not make the right play every time, may even cost the team a win, but I'd rather have active players looking to make something happen than the stagnant offense I saw last night. Brandon Rush treated the ball like a hot potato when he could've been stepping into a big three-point shot.

So why not go all in with a look at the future? The season is going nowhere fast so the results can't get much worse. 

After the jump, more stories on the loss last night including a little nugget from Mike Wells on Larry Bird's travelling companion the past few days.