LOS ANGELES – Darren Collison, determined to master the intricacies of the Mavericks’ offense, spends much of his free time studying film of mastermind Jason Kidd’s work from the last few seasons.
Collison is far too polite to say it, but he didn’t see much attacking off the dribble.
That’s the biggest change with the Mavs’ change of the point guard. The 39-year-old Kidd developed an allergy to paint in his advanced age. The 25-year-old Collison’s best attribute is his ability to attack the basket.
“That’s what I was brought here for -- my speed and quickness,” said Collison, who was acquired along with Dahntay Jones for Ian Mahinmi in a sign-and-trade deal. “I try to get into the paint as much as I can.”
Collison lived in the lane in the opener, killing the Lakers with his quickness. The majority of his team-high 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting came in the paint, where he hit five of his seven attempts. He also had four assists and helped create several other good looks for teammates with his penetration.
“It was a great mixture of aggression to score and aggression to make plays,” coach Rick Carlisle said.
Collison had four buckets within 10 feet of the rim against the Lakers. By contrast, according to HoopData.com, Kidd scored only seven times in that range all of last season.
“My teammates have been in my ear to attack,” Collison said, “and that's what I'm gonna do.”
That’s a big difference between the Mavs’ new point guard and his predecessor.