I had the chance to watch the Mavericks take on Alba Berlin on NBA TV the other, the consequences of a Cable bundle I no longer understand and can’t get out of. I’m leaving the recap in the capable hands of Alan Smithee, but I did want to say one thing—you’re going to enjoy Darren Collison.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not going to be all peaches and cream. He really struggled, in this game, to get the ball to Dirk against a non-NBA defense, and if the point guard can’t get the ball to Dirk, we’re going to lose every game by 40. But, I have confidence he’ll figure that one out.
The rest of it, though? The rest of it is going to be fine. Because Darren Collison looks like an NBA player.
Bryan Gutierrez pointed out the other day that both Darren and Beaubois are fourth year players. Many have pointed out the similarities between what Darren can give (driving, kicking, and some shooting), to what former Mavs favorite J.J. Barea brought. And to an extent that’s true.
But Barea, who only ever drove with his head down, and only ever shot when—well, whenever, with no seeming attachment to the logic of the play.
When Darren Collison gets the ball, he gets the ball like an adult basketball player. He takes care of it. He steps into the play with presence.
That’s what makes the difference guys.
Your waterbug guards give you a change of pace, a curveball in your arsenal, but they’re weapons of mass destruction. All you can do is turn the crank and let them go. Collison is, as they are, lightning fast, and a great finisher. We haven’t seen this in some time, but just imagine Dom Jones with the ball actually going into the basket. But there’s a lot more.
Collison knows when and how to do it. He doesn’t put his head down, Barea style, and hope to turn up somewhere near the rim after it’s all over, and he doesn’t hit the defense and abort for a pull-up like Roddy. He knows when to drive, he does it fast, but he does it under control.
And his jumpshot didn’t look too bad either.
Collison is the type of player we don’t get a lot, around here. A bonafide college star at a big program (Sorry J-Flight, Josh Howard), who came to the NBA ready to play (sorry Roddy, Dojo, Shan Foster, Maurice Ager, Ahmad Ni…(#*$ we’re bad at drafting), Collison is on an upward trajectory you can trust. He’s a known quantity, and it’s a good one.
I’m not going to predict Collison’s season from here. He’s played one game in a Mavs uniform, it was against Alba Berlin, and when you’re the PG of a team that throws nearly 30 INTs, it’s clear that there are more than a few kinks to throw out.
But the Mavericks have not had an offensive player like Darren Collison in my memory, and you are going to like him. I guarantee it.