Thursday, April 21, 2011
Posted: 1:02 p.m.
By Aggrey Sam
INDIANAPOLISWhether Pacers starting point guard Darren Collison plays in Thursdays Game 3 of Indianas first-round series against the Bulls will be a game-time decision. Collison, who sprained his left ankle after crashing into baseline photographers at the United Center during the first half of Mondays Game 2 for Indiana, tested the ankle for the first time since the injury at Thursdays Pacers shootaround.
Feeling good. Im going to be able to play today. Its still up in the air, game-time decision, but I think mostly, Im going to be able to play today. But well see how I feel before the game and Im going to give it a shot, said a confident Collison. I felt fine. We had shootaround, I did my thing. I didnt play too long, thats why its still a game-time decision, but for the most part, I think Im going to play.
Its not going to be 100-percent perfect, but at the same time, the more movement I get, the better it feels, continued the second-year UCLA product. Ill pick my spots. I know exactly when to be aggressive, when not to be aggressive.
But Im not really concerned with that. The thing about that, they know you have an ankle injury, so you know theyre going to try to run plays for you. Im well aware of that and Im going to be prepared for that.
Pacers interim head coach Frank Vogel added: Collison looked pretty good during shootaround. Were going to see how he feels, to see if he has any soreness. This is his first live work since the other night. Its going to be a game-time decision.
He wants to play very badly. If its up to him, its a no-brainer. Weve just got to make sure hes effective, continued Vogel, who noted that the decision would be based on how Collison performed during a pre-game workout. Hes got to be able to move to play.
I just have to have a feel, take a look at him and well go from there.
While Vogel preached caution, the upbeat floor general presumed hed be on the court for Indianas first home game of the series.
I think my adrenaline will be up, though. The energy, the excitement of trying to play in Game 3. Its a playoff game, so why not be in it? I dont know when Im going to get my chance again, so Im definitely going to be up for it. So, all that is going to be a factor, said Collison. Ultimately, I think theyre going to give me the decision for myself. They know Im a competitor, they know I want to play as much as anybody else on the court and I definitely dont want to leave my team hanging. I want to be out there.
We definitely feel like this is the game for us. Game 3 is the most important game of the series. We definitely feel like this is a game for us to win. We had a great film session Wednesday, great practice Wednesday and great shootaround.
Echoed Vogel: Were excited about being here. Were excited that we can win. Being back in our building obviously increases the chances that were going to get our first playoff win in a number of years.
While Collison is the Pacers starting floor general, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau, as is his custom, was prepared for all of Indianas options at the position if he doesnt play.
Theyre a good team and they have quality depth at the point. If Collison plays, obviously Collisons had an excellent year for them, said Thibodeau. A.J. Price has played very, very well, and T.J. Fords been a good player in this league for a long time. Hes more than capable. We know how good he is.
Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.