Pacers' playoff exits put chip on Darren Collison's shoulder

September, 20, 2012
9/20/12
10:35
AM CT
DALLAS – Darren Collison has just enough playoff experience to be desperate for a whole lot more.

Collison said he arrived in Dallas with a chip on his shoulder. It’s not due to being traded twice by his 25th birthday or losing his starting job late last season in Indiana.

“The chip, for me personally, is just about not being able to win in the playoffs,” Collison said. “Being knocked off by Miami, being knocked off by Chicago my first year in Indiana, I still have that nasty taste in my mouth. I want to bring some of that here. Even though they have so many more accomplishments here, I definitely want to bring my game and the chip that I have on my shoulder here.”

Derrick Rose's Bulls eliminated Collison’s Pacers in five games in the 2011 first round. The Heat knocked out the Pacers in six games in the second round last season.

Collison scored 17 points and dished out nine assists in his playoff debut against the Bulls, but he struggled the rest of that series, averaging 9.4 points on 39 percent shooting and 4.0 assists in the five games.

Collison was productive in a bench role last postseason, averaging 8.7 points and 3.0 assists in 18.6 minutes per game while George Hill started at point guard for the Pacers. Collison’s best playoff performance was a 19-point, nine-assist outing in the first-round closeout game against the Magic.

Collison, who is entering a contract year, sees Dallas as a franchise that will gives him a chance to prove he can be a starting point guard for a team that enjoys playoff success.

“The challenge is really just to find a way to play together,” Collison said. “We’ve got to leave the contract stuff behind us and really just try to focus on the court and try to win games. That’s going to be the challenge when you put guys together.

“For me, as a point guard trying to lead this team, I’ve got to make sure guys understand that this is a great opportunity for us to do something (the Mavs) did two years ago.”

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TEAM LEADERS

POINTS
Dirk Nowitzki
PTS AST STL MIN
21.7 2.7 0.9 32.9
OTHER LEADERS
ReboundsD. Nowitzki 6.2
AssistsM. Ellis 5.7
StealsM. Ellis 1.7
BlocksB. Wright 0.9