The Indianapolis Star has covered Indiana Pacers coach Jim O’Brien and his thoughts on Darren Collison and Mike Dunleavy.
Darren Collison and His Play
O’Brien has had to do some explaining about Collison’s assist-to-turnover ratio thus far, where his 19 turnovers exceeds the 18 assists so far in the preseason:
"Darren is a way better player than what he’s showing right now," O’Brien said. "Part of it is getting used to the tempo."
O’Brien also said that "He does everything at a different speed than we want to play at.”
Certainly there is time needed for Collison to understand how the offense works – which is much different than what he was with in New Orleans:
"It’s going to take time. A.J. (Price) understands it, T.J. (Ford) understands it, but Lance (Stephenson) and Darren don’t right now."
O’Brien is right: this won’t happen overnight. Yet some of it will – in regards to the Pacers development – if they are to make a run for the playoffs this year, with such a young team.
O’Brien is also not happy about Dunleavy getting fewer shots than he should – who is shooting 56 percent, with 54 percent from 3-point range.
Where is at least some of the blame, according to O’Brien? You guessed it: Darren Collison:
"Part of him not getting shots is that (Collison) doesn’t understand our tempo yet," O’Brien said. "He understands it intellectually, but he doesn’t understand it out there. Mike is at his best when we get the ball up the court and get it reversed quick if we don’t have anything right away.
"We are scoring at a 57-percent clip when we quickly reverse the ball in our offense, and this is a team that’s not scoring very well right now. We need to win that battle. When that happens, Mike will be at his best."
While there is a point to this, it is a little unsettling to hear O’Brien undermine his players in the preseason, from Collison to the entire frontcourt reserves and Brandon Rush.
Look for the Indiana Pacers to play at Minnesota Tuesday, and at Chicago on Friday – to wrap up the preseason.