Has Collison Been A Mavs-Killer?

Somebody at Mavs HQ is whispering into the ear of somebody at DallasBasketball.com HQ that among the reasons Dallas is so enamored with new point guard Darren Collison is because there are fresh wounds here from him being a 'Mavs-killer' of sorts. Cool story, bro. But is it true?

Recently, it has been intimated to DallasBasketball.com that Darren Collison's performance against the Dallas Mavericks while a member of the Hornets and the Pacers was a factor in the decision to trade for him this offseason.

Not that such was the only factor in the decision to acquire the young point guard, and DB.com has independently made the case for Collison as an overall talent (and even as a viable replacement for Kidd) before, but if it was indeed a factor, do the numbers bear this out?

Has Darren Collison been a "Mavs-Killer''?

Three seasons ago, Collison had a monster game against the Mavericks, notching a season-high 35 points while shooting over 70 percent from the floor. However, other than his scoring output, nothing else about his line that night particularly stands out from that night on February 28, 2010, when he achieved a point total and a made-FG total (15) that remain career-bests.

Looking at Collison's games against Dallas shows that he did indeed outperform his season averages in most categories against the Mavericks. A simple conclusion to draw would be that Collison's youthful speed and athleticism gave him an advantage over the larger, slower Kidd.

However, in the games where Kidd and Collison squared off in the 2009-10 season, Kidd averaged nearly 11 points per game and eight dimes, but did average nearly four turnovers a game. In that season, Kidd's averages were 10.3 points, 9.1 assists, and 2.4 TO's per game, so perhaps some of Kidd's performance can be attributed to the Collison effect.

The following season, the trend largely continued, save Kidd's scoring, when Kidd averaged 14 points, six assists and three turnovers against Collison's Pacers team. Collison again bested his season scoring averages in those two contests.
So was Collison's performance against Dallas a factor in the Mavericks' acquisition of him? Probably to some degree; he was indeed better than average against Dallas, for the most part.

When Collison was a rookie, his three-game averages against Dallas were 17.7 points, three rebounds, 4.3 assists, three turnovers and two steals. He was a 17-point guy in his one game against Dallas as a Pacer the next year, and a 13-point guy against Dallas last season. His totals against the Mavs, career: 15.9 points, 46.4 percent shooting, 3.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 2.3 turnovers and 1.7 steals.

We'd call that less than "killer,'' but certainly good enough for Dallas to take a "if-you-can't-beat-him,-join-him'' approach to their new point guard.

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