The National Basketball Association has truly become a point guard driven league.
The bulk of the power teams in the league are currently employing point guards of the highest caliber. Brandon Jennings, Chauncey Billups, Deron Williams, Derrick Rose, Jameer Nelson, Jason Kidd, Mo Williams, Rajon Rondo, Russell Westbrook, Steve Nash and Tony Parker and were all playing in the playoffs this season, while names like John Wall, Stephen Curry and Tyreke Evans are poised to become the future faces of the association.
The point is that it seems much easier to make your way in this league with a top flight point guard than to try to make a go of it with an average one like Mario Chalmers. Still, perhaps you are not convinced that Darren Collison – the 21st overall pick in last year’s NBA draft – can really insert himself into the conversation with the list above. Let’s take a closer look.
While maybe his 12.4 points and 5.7 assists per game last year weren’t particularly eye-popping, his 18.8 points and 9.1 assists per game as a starter were just that. Especially since, due to the injury to Chris Paul, he actually started 37 games for the Hornets last season, making the sample size significantly more relevant than had he simply blown up in a few meaningless garbage-time minutes . As a starter, he shot 49% from the field, 43% from behind the arc, and had better overall averages than the more highly-touted Stephen Curry (17.9ppg, 6.1apg, .461 FG%, .436% 3PFG), Tyreke Evans (20.1ppg, 5.8apg, .458 FG%, .255 3PFG%) and Brandon Jennings (17.1ppg, 6.3apg, .371 FG%, .374 3PFG%). This is a guy that had fourteen 10+ assist games last season (which is eight more than Derrick Rose had), including one 18 assist and one 20 assist game. He scored over 30 points twice, and over 20 points sixteen times (two more than Rajon Rondo). He even had a triple-double (18-12-13) back on February 19 against Indiana. Not too shabby.
Collison is a lightening-quick guard, and he saw more than one-third of his offense come from inside the paint, despite his diminutive six-foot frame. That means that not only does Collision have the tools to create his own offense, something the Heat could desperately use alongside Wade in the backcourt, but he also has the quickness to beat the opposition off of the dribble, get to the basket and collapse defenses, opening up the floor for his teammates. Read more…