Player preview: Darren Collison was born to be a bridge point guard

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 7: Darren Collison
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 7: Darren Collison /

In an offseason filled with upheaval, the Pacers needed a point guard to bridge the gap between eras. Darren Collison was practically born to be just that.

Darren Collison’s first stint with the Pacers feels much more like a lifetime ago than just six seasons. Almost the entirety of the Paul George era — the important parts at least — has taken place since Collison was last a part of the roster, and now he’s returned to steer a ship that might not have a functioning compass.

Collison signed a two-year deal with the Pacers this summer, one of a couple deals Pritchard & Co. made to avoid a complete tank job. The front office was looking for a floor general that could buoy the team high enough to avoid the disdain of Herb Simon without costing an arm and a leg.

That might as well be Collison’s Twitter bio. He’ll give you competence, but if you want someone with star potential or lots of wins, look elsewhere.

Pulling stats predictions from thin air

Role: mediocre starting point guard

Collison is probably somewhere between the 19th and 25th best point guard in the NBA right now. He’s never played fewer than 25 minutes a game in his career, so I’d toss that out as a minimum for him, although I’ve been wrong before.

Collison will shoot over 40 percent from 3-point range

The UCLA product has a killer 3-point stroke, which should give guys like Victor Oladipo and Lance Stephenson more room to breathe on offense. Last season, he shot 36 percent on above-the-break 3s and 56 percent from the corners. He’s a legit threat from long range.

He won’t crack the 60th percentile as a pick-and-roll ball handler

If you were hoping Collison would form a pick-and-roll partnership with Myles Turner that sets the Eastern Conference ablaze this season, prepare to be disappointed. Collison scored only 0.86 points per possession as a PNR ball-handler last season with the Kings, and he played with DeMarcus Cousins for a lot of those, so talent wasn’t really an issue.

Player’s Season Summed up in One Bojack GIF

If you follow the Indiana Pacers, you need a sense of humor. Laugh so you don’t cry. And what’s funnier than Bojack Horseman? Nothing. Nothing is the answer.

Sweatin’ Bullets

sweatin bullets
sweatin bullets /

Sweatin’ Bullets is an 8p9s tradition started by Jonny Auping in which we offer standalone facts, observations, and commentary, often devoid of context or fairness.

  • Collison is on the other side of 30 years old and 6-foot-0.
  • The other side of 30 years old typically isn’t kind to small guards.
  • Take that how you will.

One Key Question

Will Darren Collison’s presence just take shots from guys who could represent a young core?

More from Pacers News

The Situation: At 30 years old, Collison almost certainly won’t be on the next great Pacers team, and there’s an argument to be made that since every shot he takes is a shot Oladipo or Turner doesn’t take, he probably shouldn’t have such a big role.

Best-case Scenario: There are plenty of shots to go around, and it’s not like Collison is some Kobe type who doesn’t know the word pass. Five players have to be on the court, and they’re all going to take shots at some point. Any worries about touches will be overblown, and Turner and Oladipo will have plenty of opportunity to grow into expanded roles.

Worst-case Scenario: Collison is looking to squeeze one more decent-sized contract out of his career before he’s banished to “one year at the vet minimum” territory, and decides he needs to get his if he wants to make that happen.

Prediction: I’m not nearly as worried about Collison derailing offensive possessions as I am about a certain player who was born ready to do so, but I wouldn’t entirely count it out. Collison’s current deal is very likely his last significant contract, but he might not be willing to accept that

Next: 6 overly confident predictions for this season

As long as it’s not Al Jefferson post ups, I’ll be alright.