The Pacers came into the offseason with one glaring need – a point guard. After a lot of inactivity and patience, they landed their man. Darren Collison came over in a four-team trade that sent Troy Murphy to the Nets.
The Pacers hope Collison is their point guard for the future. If his rookie season is any indication, they got a good one.
Collison spent his rookie season with New Orleans as back up for superstar Chris Paul. After learning from him a lot about the point guard position, Collison got a chance to start 37 games when Paul went down with injury.
All he did with his starting opportunity is average 18.8 points and 9.1 assists, including a triple-double against – you guesssed it – the Pacers.
Now Collison, only in his second year is in charge of a Pacers team desperate to turn the corner. They are putting a lot of trust in the young guy, but from all indications, he is ready for the challenge.
Based on his early quotes with the Pacers, Collison is ready to take on a leadership role and settle on nothing less than winning. Even though those are just words at this point, any confidence is music to the ears of a Pacers fan.
Here is some of what Collison had to say during an online chat during the Pacers’ media day Monday.
When asked about his goals:”Individual goals are team goals and that’s to make the playoffs.”
And then: “More of a leader. I felt because I was behind one of the best PGs in the league, I really couldn’t lead as much because it was his team. Now that its my team, I can lead more.”
The Pacers seem to like their core of Collison, Granger and Hibbert and will need all of them to be leaders on and off the court, vocally and by example. For the Pacers’ sake, hopefull these are not just words, but will come with results.
The point guard position has been a question for a long time in Indy, and they are hoping they have found the answer. If they are right that could be a big step in the right direction away from mediocrity and into contention.
Also if you’re itching for Pacers action, check out Pacers.com where they have video up from the first practice.