Darren Collison is currently the Mavericks’ second best player, and I hate him. Collison may be a good guy, but he couldn’t be more wrong for the Dallas Mavericks. People were quick to speak about the Mavericks’ good fortune when Jason Kidd turned down their three year offer, and soon after they were able to trade for Collison.
Collison is much younger than Jason Kidd, but nothing he does is more beneficial to the Mavs on the court. Kidd, with all his age and wisdom, is currently 7th in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. Collison is 41st. Unlike Kidd, Collison can’t help the Mavs’ poor rebounding, and most importantly, can’t run the Mavs’ flow offense. It seems that when Carlisle developed his offense, Collison’s patented “jump, panic and pass” technique wasn’t part of it.
Collison’s greatest sin, however, has been his inability to play effectively with Dirk. Darren has been so poor at involving Dirk that the Mavericks have begun playing Roddy B with Dirk in high pick-and-rolls. Roddy B. Yes, Darren Collison has been so bad that the player that Rick Carlise seems to want to wish out of existence is put in his place at times. Carlise would rather wear Larry Birds’ back brace everyday than play Roddy Buckets, but Collison’s inability to pass the ball to a 7 foot man has given him no choice. With Collison running the point, Dirk’s usage percentage* is down 5.7% from last season to 23.5%. That is his lowest usage percentage since 1999, when he still had buck teeth and Michael Finley was the Mavericks’ best player.
Collison might be a decent NBA point guard who is being asked to do too much by running the Mavs fluid system. He is truly a one man fast break whose speed puts pressure on opponents. But at 13.1 points per game, he doesn’t score well enough to justify leaving one of the 50 best players of all time at the other end of the court as he jets down to miss yet another layup. I wish the best for Darren Collison, but his one year here will have been one year too long.
*Usage percentage is an estimate of team plays used by a player while he was on the floor.
Stats from basketball-reference.com and correct as of 1-15-13