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News » Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2008-07-26

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2008-07-26

Indiana Pacers Getting Inside 2008-07-26
New Pacers point guard T.J. Ford knows the questions about his durability are out there. He expects them, considering his previous injury problems.

There was the bruised spinal cord during the 2003-04 season that caused him to miss all of the next season. He also missed time last season with the Toronto Raptors after he struck his head on the floor following a foul by Atlanta's Al Horford.

Ford, who has missed 157 games in his five-year career, said his injury problems are a thing of the past and he expects to be the floor leader that helps get the Pacers back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006.

"I think that comes with my injury (in 2004)," Ford said. "I think a lot of people are wondering if I take a hard fall whether I'm going to get up or not. I think the staff we have here, the things they discussed with me, that can help my situation be better than what it is. I think I'll be durable throughout the season."

Making the playoffs is nothing new for Ford. The lightning-quick point guard has appeared in the postseason in three of his four seasons.

"I'm familiar with that playoff taste and I'm not ready to give that taste up," Ford said. "That's the challenge and the goal, to show people we are contenders in the East."

Ford isn't known for his scoring ability -- 11.6 points per game in his career -- but the Pacers believe his leadership and experience will help fill a void at a position they've struggled at the past few years.

Ford will replace Jamaal Tinsley, who isn't expected back next season.

"These guys' ability to impact the culture of our team is significant," Pacers coach Jim O'Brien said. "All their personalities are going to have a great chance to change the culture, and it starts frankly at the point guard spot."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: July 26, 2008


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