Darren Collison: Inside the Numbers

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Published: February 5, 2010

There were a few developments involving the Hornets yesterday, which got me thinking about Darren Collison. I realized it’s hard to judge someone objectively when you feel such a connection with their successes. But to start, let’s discuss what led me to put together this analysis.

First off Chris Paul is officially underwent surgery to repair his torn meniscus. Obviously that’s not great news, but at least it’s over with so he can start recovering. Secondly, Jeff Bower made it clear that he has no intention of bringing on another point guard, even on a ten day contract, opting instead to let James Posey and Morris Peterson (who was on fire against OKC) assist in taking the ball up the court.

Lastly, Marcus Thornton didn’t practice and is listed as questionable due to lingering pain from his fall against the Thunder. If he can’t play against Philadelphia, the Hornets just might find a few moments without a single guard in the game. James Posey running the point? Color me excited.

Back to the point- We will be seeing absurd amounts of the Collison in the coming months.  Hornets fans have known for a while that the rookie point guard has some skills, but now how much of our praise is deserved and how much is earned? As Hornets fans, we tend to be a little subjective when judging players, so statistics work well in bringing us back to reality.

For what it’s worth this is a comparison with mostly experienced NBA veterans who have been doing this professionally for years. The rookie has logged 740 minutes. Jason Kidd has racked up 1155, games that is. Collison has started 11 games. Derek Fischer started 11 games too, in the 1998 playoffs.

Simply put, it’s how he stacks up to his current competition. Almost certainly Collison will improve quite a bit in the coming years.

Note that I compare his stats to the “Average Point Guard”, which specifically includes stats for all point guards who have have played over 30 games this year, and averaged at least 15 minutes per.

Let’s take a look at the cold hard facts.

Shooting and Scoring

Stat Collison Average PG Notes
FG% .409 .439 Collison is a poor shooter so far, but should improve as he matures
3P% .297 .363 He’s also below average from beyond the arc
FT% .868 .800 Better than CP3 this year
Points per 40 15.9 16.3
Points per shot 1.06 1.19 Very weak. He ranks ninth on the team, which averages 1.19 as a whole
FTA per 40 3.7 3.8 I expected he would be well below average and was obviously mistaken.

Passing/Ball Handling

Stat Collison Average PG Notes
Assists per 40 7.8 6.5 Collison is already a good distributor
Turnover per 40 3.3 2.7 But is turnover prone
Assist/TO 2.12 2.43 CP3 leads the league at 4.42

Miscellaneous

Stat Collison Average PG Notes
PER 13.53 14.91 Tyreke Evans leads all rookies at 18.9
Win Shares 4.41 5.32
On/Off Team Offense per 100 possessions -6.6 0 The offense is worse with Collison than CP3. Surprised?

Defense

Stat Collison Average PG Notes
Steals per 40 1.51 1.43 Solid already
Blocks per 40 .11 .23
Charges taken per 40 .05 .38 Posey is fourth in the league at .78
Fouls per 40 2.0 3.0 He could and should be more physical
Opposing PG PER 18.2 14.9 Collison gives up big numbers
Opposing PG FG% .502 .439 This number is awful
On/Off Team D per 100 possessions +2.2 points 0 As an individual you want this number to be below zero
Rebounds per 40 4.3 3.9 New Orleans’ guards love boards
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