Were closing in on wrapping up the 2009-10 Hornets.com player-by-player season reviews, with todays look back on Darren Collison being the 10th of 12 reports. I spoke extensively with Collison over the final few days of the regular season, as well as with assistant coach Robert Pack, a former NBA point guard. You can read much of what the two men had to say within the article, but here are a few additional thoughts:
On Collisons work ethic:
I knew the work he put in, and understanding his ability, I knew when he got the opportunity to play, he would show people that he can be a very good player on this level.
On a few keys to Collisons offensive improvement over the course of the season:
Understanding the areas where his shots would come from as a point guard was something he really bought into. He worked hard on the repetition of shots from specific spots. Im excited to see him be able to make those shots. Its definitely paying off for him.
On attacking the pick-and-roll:
Within the first few minutes of a game, you will see how teams are trying to play you. You will see that teams are going under the screen on you. You have to step up and hit that shot, and force teams to play you a different way. Teams have to play him a little bit more honest than they did early in the season. With his speed and quickness, other teams cant get up on him, because then he can get into the paint."
On Collisons ability to get to the basket and draw fouls:
I think hes expected contact more. During my career, I hit that floor a lot. You realize that youre not going to get a lot of uncontested trips through the lane in the NBA.
On shooting an excellent 40 percent from three-point range as a rookie:
I think its the work that Ive put in every day. I worked at it a lot. I understood that in order to be consistent with the jump shot, youve got to put the work in. The work is starting to pay off.
On having additional time to focus on improving as an NBA player:
In college, you had school and all of the other obligations. It was hard to put the work in that you wanted to. But you have to manage your time. Now you have the whole day to yourself. This is your job. You could play all day if you wanted. It depends on how much work you want to put in.