Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports:

T.J. Ford benched in Indiana

T.J. Ford’s contributions now are limited to competing hard in practice and supporting teammates during the game because O’Brien has no intention of playing him anytime soon. Ford hasn’t played in the past three games, including the 43-point loss at New York on Sunday.

“I’ve come to grips with it,” Ford said. “Initially, first hearing the news on game day (Saturday) was definitely tough. It was shocking. It’s a business.

“I’ve been dealing with a lot of adversity throughout my professional career, so you just use this as an experience.”

O’Brien is starting veteran Earl Watson because he is “as strong of a leader” as the Pacers have. Rookie A.J. Price is the backup. Price is effective at running the pick-and-roll. The Pacers also want to determine whether he fits into their plans because Watson and Travis Diener are free agents at the end of the season.