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Darren Collison's plan in Indianapolis: Be like Reggie Miller. Spike Lee watch out.

Aug 13, 2010, 12:57 PM EDT

NBA_collison.jpgDarren Collison may be the new savior for the basketball heartland that is Indiana, but he is a California boy. Left Coast. Land of fruit and nuts. He grew up in Southern California and went to UCLA for college.

Just like Reggie Miller.

He told the Indianapolis Star he wants to bring the excitement Miller did to the Pacers.

“People can look forward to a player that loves to win,” Collison said in a phone interview Thursday. “I just want to bring that excitement back to the city.”

“What I am is a hard-working player, someone that loves to win and will do anything to win games,” Collison said. “Last year with New Orleans, it didn’t sit well with me because we didn’t make the playoffs. I’m not accustomed to that coming from UCLA.”

Indiana will have a hard time making the playoffs as well in a suddenly-deeper Eastern Conference. But the Pacers now promise to be entertaining — coach Jim O’Brien wants to run but T.J. Ford was not the man who could pull it off. Collison can, he is one of the quicker guards in the league. When Chirs Paul went down he averaged 18.8 points and 9.1 assists per game.

If he can put up those numbers, if Danny Granger can stay healthy, if the Pacers can get a little rebounding, if the Pacers can play some defense they become a pretty good team that will be fun to watch. A team that could be in the mix for the last playoff sport or two in the East.

And that would be a lot more excitement than the Pacers have seen in a while.

  1. Kevin W - Aug 13, 2010 at 1:44 PM

    I don’t see any way that Indiana doesn’t make the playoffs, honestly. We know MIA, ORL, BOS, ATL are in. We assume MIL and CHI will both get in with one winning the central. Who’s better than the Pacers now? The Knicks, Wizards, and Bobcats figure to be the main competition, but none of them have the depth of Indy. I mean, a 7 seed isn’t really worth bragging about too much, but the Pacers are much improved and were the first team out of the playoffs last year with major injuries.

  2. deathday - Aug 13, 2010 at 7:52 PM

    Darren Collison is going to help this team. Over his last 36 games he averaged 18.9 points & 8.8 assists. I’m not sure about playoffs but this is the first positive move I’ve seen for the Pacers in a while. I love the Bobcats, but there’s no way we’re better than last year. Maybe if Walter Hermann comes back…

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