DALLAS — The Dallas Mavericks may have the best 1-2 punch at point guard in the NBA next season. Darren Collison and Delonte West both put up very similar numbers and know how to lead a team to victory. Delonte is the more experienced guard and has played in multiple big game situations in the playoffs.
Collison is the younger, more athletic point guard who has the bigger upside. So the question is who starts and who takes their talents to the bench to be the backup? Either way, the Mavericks are in great shape at the point guard position.
I think it’s safe to say that both guys will get similar playing time. At times they will even play together. But who will get the more important minutes with the starters? Who will be on the floor when the game is one the line? I think it will come down to who is having the better night. Rick Carlisle isn’t afraid to shake things up. The better player will play in his lineup.
Delonte West is a veteran playing in the prime of his career. At 29 years of age, West has been through a lot of adversity on and off the court. He’s not afraid to show his emotions on the court. He’s the type of player that always has his teammates back, and players love that about him. He is also the more clutch player out of him and Collison.
He’s hit game winning shots in the playoffs dating back to his days with the Cleveland Cavaliers. He’s also a combo guard, which means he can play both point guard and shooting guard. He has the defensive toughness and strength to guard guys much bigger and stronger than him.
Last year in Dallas was his best year stats wise since the 2008-2009 season with Cleveland. He averaged 9.6 points, 2.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.3 steals in 24 minutes a game. He only played in 44 of the possible 66 games in a lockout shortened season and started 33 of them. West has a lot of experience coming off the bench and starting.
If I had to guess, West would be perfectly fine with either role and would embrace his position on the team.
The starting point guard job is in the hands of Darren Collison. It’s up to him if he wins it or losses it to West. He is the younger guard at just 24 years old and has only been in the league for three seasons. He is the faster, more athletic and better shooter out of the two fighting for the starting nod.
His career averages are 12 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists and 1 steal in 29.5 minutes a game. He’s played in a total of 215 games while starting 172 of them. His numbers are just marginally better than Delonte’s, but there is one glaring difference between the two that I just can’t let go of.
In Collison’s first season in the NBA with the New Orleans Hornets, Collison put up decent numbers, especially since he was on the same team as Chris Paul. But if you look at his starting numbers they may shock you. In 37 starts in the 2009-2010 season Collison averaged 18.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 9.1 assists and 1.4 steals in 40 minutes a game.
Those numbers would get any point guard in the All-Star game if they put them up on a daily basis. Collison has top point guard potential lurking around him. All he needs to do is bring it back out. I think Collison is on his way to having a breakout season with the Mavericks next year, and who better to coach him through it than Rick Carlisle?
Who better to show him the ropes than Dirk Nowitzki?
I would be ecstatic to have either one of these guys as my starting point guard. Both guys have a lot of experience at starting and coming off the bench. They have a chance to be the best 1-2 punch at point guard in the league. Point guard is not a position fans or anyone else should worry about when it comes to the Dallas Mavericks.