The biggest cause of consternation to watching the Pacers' early season has been Darren Collison's inability to execute the pick-and-roll. In other aspects of the game, Collison has performed well. His shooting has been strong, his assists-to-turnover ratio high and his defense, while at times lamentable, has been adequate.
Most impressive has been the young point guard's command of the offense, except for when it comes to to running the pick-and-roll, a staple (the staple) of the Pacers' halfcourt game.
In David West, Roy Hibbert and Tyler Hansbrough (even Jeff Foster), the Pacers have the best pick-setting big men in the league. They all happen to have to respectable mid-range games.
Such a combination lends itself perfectly to a lot of open shots off the pick-and-roll. Expect Collison is late almost every time. Fortunately, he has enough sense not to force the pass after the window has closed, but it is exasperating seeing how many times Collison has missed an opening.
Even against Kevin Garnett, who is renowned for his strong defense against the pick, David West was open either on the pop-out or the roll numerous times.
As soon as the pick should be set, the pass should be automatic. So far, it hasn't been, which is why the Pacers offense has at times looked static.
If Indiana wants to take pressure off its defense and start winning games with its offense, then assistant coach Brian Shaw is going to need to sit Collison down and work with him on one of the key elements to the Pacers' game plan.