Video of 2008-09 Hornets part of Collison’s preparation

Thursday, October 1, 2009
By: Jim Eichenhofer, Hornets.com

Darren Collison spent part of his summer viewing something no one who follows the Hornets probably wants to see again: the portions of games last season when Chris Paul was resting.

New Orleans’ bench performance was a major concern throughout 2008-09, but the unit’s shortcomings were perhaps most evident early in the second quarters of games. That’s when Paul normally received his initial breather after playing the entire first period. Opposing teams often took capitalized, either building a larger lead, or turning the momentum back in their favor by quickly erasing an early deficit.

“I try to prepare myself mentally and watch a lot of tape,” Collison explained of his recent video sessions. “I’ve tried to see how the transition was when Chris came out of the game. Everyone saw the drop-off, so it was kind of obvious. That’s something I have to work on, to not have that drop-off when I come in the game. I want to be able to provide that spark right away.”

Shortly after being drafted with the No. 21 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Collison asked the New Orleans coaching staff if it could send the 6-footer some game tapes from last season. The Hornets immediately sent the UCLA product an extensive amount of video.

“At first it started out with me focusing on specific things, such as trying to see how the (offensive) system is run and what their goal is every time they come down the court,” Collison said. “I wanted to watch to see how Chris Paul comes around the pick-and-roll and how he finds people. I noticed that a lot of times it’s a two-man game with Chris and David (West), and the other guys get a lot of their shots as a result of (defenders) helping against (Paul and West).

“But it just turned into something where I wanted to look at the whole team. I’ve also been watching the atmosphere of the crowd, how much passion the team is playing with, all of those things.”