The Indiana Pacers are coming off another painful loss that came down to the wire against the Chicago Bulls. They trail the series 2-0, but a lot of questionable fouls were called that got many fans raging from Game Two.

Indiana will host Chicago at Conseco Fieldhouse for Game Three on Thursday night. But how can they be close and actually win a game if they are without one of their most important players: Darren Collison?

Collison sprained his left ankle and hopefully will be healed enough to play.

"I don't know if he's going to be able to (play) or not. We have to go into it preparing to be without him," Vogel said.

The main goal for Collison is to start. He didn't play the second half of Game Two's loss, which put a big hole for Indy. But about what he has been saying right now could be good enough for Game Three. Hopefully he can play.

"If I'm at 60-70 percent, I'm going to play," he said. "This is the playoffs. I was disappointed I couldn't get in the game in the second half (Monday night), but it's unfortunate it happened."

The injury came up on a layup where he stepped on a camera man in the first half. Collison has injured his left ankle before, where had to miss three games. This happened in November.

"If my trainers feel like I don't need to be out there, it's their decision, but at the same time, I know this is the playoffs," Collison said. "My emotions and adrenaline is going to be higher, so it's going to help me to get through it."

If Collison is unable to play, Indiana will have to go without him and rely on A.J. Price and T.J. Ford at point guard.

"We'll maybe have to tinker (with) some things offensively because there are some looks that A.J. is better at than D.C is and vice versa," Vogel said. "They have certain packages that they're more effective in. We (may) go to more of those packages."

Price will hopefully get things going. He started off very poor, committing several turnovers, but after that, went on a roll to 13 points and didn't give up the ball once after that.

"I'm going to be ready," Price said. "I stayed ready all season long regardless of what the situation called for. It's unfortunate if D.C. can't go, but we'll be ready."

Price has stepped up big this year after he finally got his playing time. As for Ford, he finally started playing again after he was benched for most of the year.

"I've been ready all season," Ford said. "I've been in this situation before. With my experience being in the playoffs before, I think I'll be OK."

Ford wasn't in his game that much but hopefully he'll be ready to go in Game Three. He was tired, and you can understand why after he has only played a small total of only 30 minutes in the past few months.

"Part of it was I haven't been in a game with that high of magnitude in a long time," Ford said. "I think my conditioning is way better than what most people would expect. I'm just glad to be able to help the team again."

Now with some playing time, I think he'll be ready to go. The Pacers are really going to need all the hope they can get and they need to play strong as they are finally playing in Conseco Fieldhouse for the first time since 2006.

Make the most of it.


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