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View Full Version : Collison Is No Disappointment



pwee31
01-31-2011, 09:54 AM
http://www.hoopsworld.com/Story.asp?story_id=18623



It would be a bit of an understatement to say a lot was expected out of Indiana Pacers point guard Darren Collison heading into this season, and there are some who would say he's fallen significantly short of those expectations.

While it hasn't been a particularly easy year for Collison or his new team, to call a 22-year-old point guard playing for a new team as a full-time starter for the first time in his two-year career a failure would be entirely unfair.

No, his numbers haven't been what they were as a stand-in for Chris Paul last year in New Orleans, but Collison's GM, David Morway, doesn't look at it that way.

"He's done everything we've asked him to do," Morway said. "In our system the point guards push the ball ahead, and we activate a lot of the offense through our bigs at the elbows. Naturally, Darren's assist numbers could be down for that reason, but he's still running the offense the way we want him to, and he's still in a learning a curve."

With head coach Jim O'Brien out in Indiana, the system stifling Collison's offensive numbers is also well on its way out, as well. That learning curve, however, doesn't disappear quite so quickly, as Collison himself explained.

"I've had to learn my personnel and my team, and that's definitely a process," Collison said. "But I feel like I'm getting comfortable with teammates, and Coach is putting the ball in my hands. I like the pressure, though. It's something you have to experience as a basketball player if you want to make it in this league. Everybody has to come through something."

O'Brien, before his final game as Pacers head coach, talked about Collison's growth as a player this year.

"Offensively, he's become more of a facilitator," O'Brien said. "I thought last year and at the beginning of this year, he could score, but he constantly needs to grow in the area of making his teammates better. That wasn't a strong suit of his, but he's really gotten better in that regard. He came to us with little awareness of the role of weak-side defense, and he's starting to understand that more."

Perhaps more importantly, he's starting, and a year of experience on a really young team heading into this summer with more cap flexibility than other team in the league is truly valuable. The Pacers haven't exactly piled up the wins this year, but despite everything they're still only two games out of the playoff picture.

"We've been talking about making the playoffs since training camp. Anything short of that is a disappointment," Collison said, driving home the point that whatever his stats are, at the end of the day it's the success of the team fans care about.

Indy's new franchise point guard might not have the dominant numbers some expected him to coming off such a fantastic rookie season, but he's well on his way to taking advantage of a perfect opportunity. Indiana has a long way to go, but luckily Collison is so young they can afford to grow with him.

And eventually, the numbers will catch up with all the hard work he's been putting into getting his team back into the postseason.

BRushWithDeath
01-31-2011, 10:35 AM
His defense has been very disappointing to me. His quickness ought to allow him to keep his man in front of him the majority if the time. He will always have size issues but he should be able to make up for that somewhat with his speed and, what appear to be, relatively long arms. And I haven't seen that yet.

McKeyFan
01-31-2011, 10:41 AM
His defense has been very disappointing to me. His quickness ought to allow him to keep his man in front of him the majority if the time. He will always have size issues but he should be able to make up for that somewhat with his speed and, what appear to be, relatively long arms. And I haven't seen that yet.
Hey BWD, off topic: how did you stumble upon the Yahoo story about JOB's firing? Pretty historic moment for PD.