John Hollinger’s capsule on Mardy Collins, written during the off-season:
2007-08 season: Collins was so bad in so many ways that it’s hard to know where to start, but that 32.6 percent shooting mark seems as good a place as any. Collins had the worst conversion rate in the NBA on inside shots (see chart) and finished dead last at his position in true shooting percentage He achieved a rare double, however, by also posting the worst turnover ratio at his position. Taken together, he was a model of inefficiency, and making matters worse was his bewilderingly high rate of shot attempts — his usage rate was near the league average for shooting guards, despite that this was about the last guy on earth you wanted using a possession. There were some positives if you looked hard enough — Collins ranked second among shooting guards in assist ratio and was in the top third in blocks and steals per minute — but all told he was dead last among shooting guards in player efficiency rating.
Scouting report: Collins is trying to make a living as a defender, using his good size and decent hands, but to do so he has to stop being such a destructive offensive player. He’s a very poor shooter with career marks of 26.6 percent on 3-pointers and 59.2 percent from the line; normally such a player will react by keeping as low a profile as possible at that end, but Collins seems intent on proving his scoring ability and is far too aggressive about driving to the basket.
Temple during the Chaney era produced a long line of strong, diligent defenders at every position, guys like Ramon Rivas, Mark Macon, Duane Causwell, and Marc Jackson. Mardy Collins certainly fits that mold. Unfortunately, as Hollinger painfully points out, he can’t find the hoop with a GPS.
Having said that, I wouldn’t put it past Mike Dunleavy to use Collins sparingly against potent SGs who require a shutdown defender, especially since the other options include Ricky Davis, rookie Eric Gordon, an oversized and defensively ineffective Al Thornton, and the not-quite-as-offensively-challenged-but-anemic Jason Hart.