Point Guard Mondays: Darren Collison’s pull up jumpers

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 3: Darren Collison /

Darren Collison has always been a great shooter. This season, he’s taken that to a new level with his shooting on pull-up threes.

Darren Collison has spent much of his career behind the three-point arc. He averages over two attempts per game in his NBA tenure, and over the last four seasons, he has shot over 2.5 threes per game. He shoots many threes because, frankly, he’s good at them; over 38 percent of his career threes have dropped. But this year, he’s doing something totally unprecedented for the Indiana Pacers, even for his standards.

Collison is nailing pull-up threes. I don’t mean he’s just sprinkling them in here and now, I mean he’s doing it all the time. Since player tracking on nba.com began in 2013-14, DC has a career-high three-point percentage on pull-ups of 37.7 percent in 2014-15. This season, he is blowing that out of the water, currently dropping in 43.3 percent of his pull-up threes.

Let’s put some context on that number. It has only been 30 games, so small-ish sample size alert, but so far this year Collison is shooting better on pull-up threes than Stephen Curry did during his  2015-16 unanimous MVP campaign. Curry shot 43 percent on pull-up threes during that magical season of his. Collison has shot better than that this year so far.

Darren Collison
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 13: Darren Collison (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

How is he doing it? Taking open looks and having consistent form, mostly. Of Collison’s 3.1 three-point attempts per game, 2.2 of them are considered to be “wide-open” per nba.com. He doesn’t shoot unless it’s a great shot, and now even on pull-ups, Collison looks like a total stud when bombing away from deep.

At the very start of the game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, we saw this exact shot on display. The Cavs miscommunicated on one of their first defensive possessions, and Collison made them pay with his pull-up ridiculousness:

Evidentally the Cavs missed that portion of Collison’s play on the scouting report, and as Mike Breen would say, “bang”.

More from 8 Points, 9 Seconds

Most opportunities for wide open pull-up threes arise from a recurring situation, however; screens. Between Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, Collison has amazing screens that free him up for these looks. He’s no James Harden, but DC has done a great job making decisions off of screens so far in the 2017-18 season.

He’s averaging a career low in turnovers per game to go with his crazy pull-up shooting, showing how well he’s handling himself when he comes off picks. In a split second, Collison makes the right choice to pass, shoot, or dribble time and time again, and when he decides to shoot, he’s absolutely money.

Take this clip in the Brooklyn Nets game, for example. Collison pulls out of his drive and resets into screen action with Myles Turner. Once the screen comes, Tyler Zeller hedges to stop the drive and Spencer Dinwiddie simultaneously goes under the screen, presumably to stop Turner from rolling in any capacity. Despite the Nets best efforts to stop Myles Turner, they did not remember that Darren Collison can light it up from deep. DC notices that he has space for an easy one, and he lets it fly, which leads to easy point for the Pacers:

This is his M.O. He is so good at reading the defense in these situations and making the right move. When the right move happens to be a pull up three, that’s great news for McMillan and co.

Here’s another great example of this happening, as the Toronto Raptors lay off of Collison after the screen. He reads the big man sagging off and uses his beautiful high release to nail the jumper shot:

I’m not sure if DC3 can keep shooting pull-up threes at out-of-this-world Curry levels. But if he keeps nailing them at the current rate, the rest of the league needs to watch out.

Next: Nate McMillan deserves credit

Or start guarding him differently. Either way, Collison has proved he can hit the pull-up jumper with the best of em’.