Darren Collison makes improbable shot to send game to OT (Video)

darren-collison-shotDarren Collison made an improbable, crazy three-point shot at the end of regulation to send the Mavericks-Thunder game to overtime in Oklahoma City on Thursday.

Dallas was inbounding the ball with 2.2 seconds left in the game and the team down 98-95. Shawn Marion passed the ball to Vince Carter, who lost the ball. Luckily Marion got a hold of it and passed to Darren Collison, who was standing behind the three-point line. With only 0.3 seconds left, Collison had to do the closest thing to a tip-in on a three-point shot attempt that we could imagine. His shot somehow went in as time expired.

Oklahoma City outscored Dallas 13-7 in overtime to win the game 111-105, but that doesn’t take away how exciting the finish was. Collison finished with a season-high 33 points on 13-for-22 shooting. He made all four of his three-point attempts and added four assists and four steals in the loss. Kevin Durant scored 40 in the Thunder’s win.

Dwyane Wade’s flagrant foul on Darren Collison was his latest in a series of dirty plays (Video)

Dwyane Wade is making it more and more evident that he’s a dirty player, and his actions on Tuesday only confirmed that opinion. Early in the fourth quarter of Game 2 between the Pacers and Heat, Wade forcefully shoved Darren Collison who was free on a fast break. Wade really ran into Collison as if he were a safety chasing down a receiver and trying to make a tackle. It was unnecessary and excessive physical contact on Collison, and he received a flagrant 1 foul for the play.

The NBA could choose to review the play and make it a flagrant 2 foul — which is what it should be. Wade should have been ejected for the dirty hit on Collison, but he wasn’t, probably because Darren recovered from it. You’ll see very quickly how much the NBA prioritizes fairness and objectivity with its rulings by what they do with this play. It should be upgraded to a flagrant 2 and there aren’t any questions about it.

What’s disturbing is that dirty plays have become a trend for Dwyane Wade.

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Review Suggests Darren Collison’s 20 Assist Night was B.S.

If Chris Paul is an MVP candidate who needed two years before posting stats that really started blowing people away, how is it that late-first round draft pick Darren Collison could put up numbers that mirrored the great CP3, all in his rookie season? It’s a very plausible question, one that’s been asked the past few weeks as Collison’s filled in admirably for the injured All-Star. As a starter, Collison has averaged 8.8 assists per game, to go along with 18.9 ppg, 1.6 spg, and a 48% FG% — all superb numbers across the board by any means. His stats were boosted by the eye-popping 20 assist mark posted on Monday night against the Warriors. While the stat line does come with the caveat that it was produced against the Warriors where defense is optional and career nights are had, it was nonetheless highly impressive. But would 16 assists have stood out quite as much as the 20 for which Collison received credit? Probably not as much.

Much like Deadspin’s story suggested last year, scorekeepers can take certain liberties with their judgment calls. The website Hardwood Paroxysm decided to review the entire Warriors/Hornets game‘ to see how legitimate Collison’s assist total was. Their findings were quite telling, so I urge you to read it on your own. I don’t think it would be unfair to say the New Orleans scorekeepers are generous in doling out assists for their point guards and that that is the reason Collison had 20 assists instead of say 16 against Golden State. Collison may have been lucky enough to be drafted onto the perfect team for his skill set and he is definitely seizing his opportunity, but he’s also getting some help. And maybe it’s not much of a coincidence that Chris Paul has averaged an extra assist per game at home than on the road for his career.

Assisting Darren Collison’s Assists [Hardwood Paroxysm]
A Closer Look at Darren Collison’s Alleged 20-Assist Night [FanHouse]
An Assist For Nick Van Exel: How An NBA Scorekeeper Cooked The Books [Deadspin]

Was Nice Knowing You, Love & Collison

The LA Times reports that both Kevin Love and Darren Collison plan to enter the NBA draft, an announcement I expect to come officially from Ben Howland sometime today. I can’t say I’m too surprised that Love is going. It was said that Love would have gone pro after high school if it weren’t for the rule change. There was that small chance he could have elected to return to school, but alas, greener pastures await. If I were him, I probably would be eager to go make that money as well, though another year in school probably couldn’t hurt his game.

Now if Darren Collison really is planning to declare for the draft, I can’t say I agree with the decision. True, Collison is still a talented point guard with deathly quickness, but he got abused in two of the last three UCLA games by opposing guards. I just think it’s poor timing on his part. Now if Russell Westbrook were to declare, I would understand that; he’s fast, athletic, and well-suited for the NBA game. I could see him succeeding as early as next season in The Association. It’s possible that Collison won’t hire an agent and that he returns to school next season. I hope so. Either way, I don’t think I’m speaking out of turn when I say the Pac-10 already looks wide open for the taking. Then again, Stanford is losing the Lopez’s, Arizona is losing Bayless and Budinger, and USC will lose Mayo. Maybe there’s still room for the Bruins at the top.