May 2, 2012; Orlando, FL, USA; Indiana Pacers small forward Danny Granger (33) celebrates with point guard Darren Collison (2) after scoring a basket despite a foul during the fourth quarter of game three in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals of the 2012 NBA Playoffs at the Amway Center. Indiana defeated Orlando, 97-74. Mandatory Credit: Douglas Jones-US PRESSWIRE
The Indiana Pacers struggled to get much from their second unit in the first two games of their playoff series with the Orlando Magic. But in Game 4 after the starters put forth a lackluster effort to begin the game, Darren Collison was all over the place, setting the tone for the second unit to help the Pacers start outworking the Magic and dictating the pace of play.
Guys like Tyler Hansbrough and Lou Amundson don't need much prodding to give an energetic effort, but having Collison be able to run things at both ends of the floor lets Hans and Lou play with more purpose. If you recall last year in the playoffs, DC had several stretches of assertive play that helped the Pacers play stride-for-stride with the Bulls. Maybe he just likes the extra bright lights of the playoffs, because this year his defensive effort is unlike anything we've seen. Pressuring and pestering all over the court.
Conrad Brunner breaks down the boost DC has given the second unit which includes this quote from Collison on his mind set.
"Regardless what my role is for this team, I'm locked-in, I'm focused and I want to win real bad for this organization and these fans," he said. "I'm going to lay my heart on the line. If I have to pressure 100 feet, whatever it takes, scratch, crawl, bleed -- whatever it takes to get a win."