Collison, Posey face former teammates
By Conrad Brunner | Oct. 15, 2010
Counting down to tonight's game against the New Orleans Hornets in Conseco Fieldhouse ...
Darren Collison and James Posey will face their former Hornets teammates for the first time since the three-team trade that brought them to the Pacers in August. Collison was a first-team all-rookie selection for the Hornets last year, averaging 12.4 points and 5.7 assists. Posey spent two years with the Hornets, appearing in 152 games (two starts), averaging 7.0 points.
Collison has settled in nicely as the starting point guard, averaging 13.0 points and 3.3 assists, shooting .463 overall in 25.0 minutes in four preseason games. His turnover number is a little too high (3.0) and his assist number a little low and he has not provided the consistent ball pressure on defense Coach Jim O'Brien wants but overall is adapting well to the new system and responsibilities.
Posey has yet to find his stroke, shooting 2-of-14 overall, 2-of-13 from the 3-point line in four appearances. But that hasn't shaken O'Brien's confidence in the veteran's ability to be a major factor off the bench with his experience, defensive tenacity and timely shooting.
After missing the first four preseason games with a hamstring strain, T.J. Ford will return for the Pacers tonight and step in as Collison's primary backup. The Hornets will be without standout forward David West (wrist).
This is the last home game of the preseason for the Pacers (1-3) so after tonight you won't get to see them in person until the regular-season home opener on Saturday, Oct. 30 against Philadelphia. The Pacers close out their preseason schedule with games next week at Minnesota (Tuesday) and Chicago (Friday).
New Orleans (1-2) is coming off a 90-76 victory over Miami on Wednesday night, though the Heat played without LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
Tonight's game marks the start of the Hornets' longest road trip of the season: five games in seven days, including a 10 a.m. tipoff in Charlotte on Oct. 20.
The Hornets have two new starters in Marco Belinelli at shooting guard and Trevor Ariza at small forward. Belinelli is the team's leading scorer in the preseason (12.3), hitting 7-of-10 from the 3-point line.
Chris Paul has averaged 26.7 minutes, 8.7 points and 7.0 assists in the preseason.
You can chat live with other fans during the game tonight beginning at 7 p.m. on Pacers.com or you can purchase tickets to watch the game in person. It will be on both TV (Fox Sports Indiana) and radio (WIBC 93 FM).