Darren Collison thrived running pick-and-rolls with David West and Emeka Okafor in New Orleans last season.
Collison was able to keep his dribble and choose to either turn the corner and attack the basket, dish off to the screener rolling to the basket or shoot a jump shot if the defender tried to go under the screen.
Collison likely won't have as many opportunities to do that as the Indiana Pacers' starting point guard because the ball won't be in his hands as long during the offensive possessions.
He has spent the first week of training camp adapting to not having the ball as much.
"I'd be lying if I said it hasn't been somewhat challenging because that's how I've been used to playing," Collison said. "But I'm getting a lot better at it. Ideally it's not what a point guard wants to go through, but it's the best thing in order to move without the ball."
Coach Jim O'Brien has constantly been talking to Collison to help him get a better understanding of the passing-game offense.
O'Brien said he plans to put Collison in a lot of pick-and-roll situations. He wants him to have about a 3.1-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio. He was at 2.1-to-1 last season.
"I don't think he's having problems with it," O'Brien said. "I thought he was maybe a little bit predictable in his movement early in the week."
Collison has spent a lot of time talking with T.J. Ford, who is in his third season playing for O'Brien, getting a better understanding of the system.
"The biggest thing I told him to do is stay in constant communication with coach O'Brien," Ford said. "I also told him to get an understanding of the angles. You can tell he's getting more and more comfortable with things."
The last time Collison played this much without the ball in his hands was when he was at UCLA.
"The coach (Ben Howland) stressed it a lot there," Collison said. "There were some practices where we went a couple of hours trying to move without the ball. I know exactly how this story goes. You just have to move without the ball, screen for others, get yourself open and find other ways to score."
Collison has made a concerted effort to find the open man and run the offense all the way through instead of deviating from it by trying to break his man down off the dribble.
"Forcing the issue is not my style," he said. "You just have to let the offense flow. When I have my opportunity, I'll take it. I'm not a player that breaks off sets when we're trying to get something accomplished.
"When we start playing games, it's going to open up a lot more. This is practice, where we're trying to go through the system and learn the system."
Blue beats the white
The blue team, which featured Collison, Danny Granger, Brandon Rush and Roy Hibbert, easily beat the white team, which had Ford and Mike Dunleavy, 32-15 in a team scrimmage Saturday afternoon.
"That was a real butt kicking," O'Brien said. "It's not like the white team was all rookies. That wasn't the case. They had some veterans, and the blue team just wore them out."
O'Brien purposely put rookie Paul George on the blue team so that he could have an opportunity to play alongside Granger and Rush. The three didn't play much together during the first week of camp.
O'Brien gave his team the day off today.
Call Star reporter Mike Wells at (317) 444-6053.