1. Darren Collison scored 31 points last night versus Portland. So obviously the question is: Darren Collison, best backup point guard in the league?
Jacob Frankel, (@jacob_frankel): No. The big question with Collison has always been defense, and it’ll stay that way until he can prove otherwise. Looking back, it’s rather miraculous that he was part of the best defensive units in the league, Indiana’s starters, a few years ago. Along with Antawn Jamison, Collison will turn Los Angeles’ second unit into one of the worst in the league defensively, a polar opposite of last season.
Andrew Han, (@andrewthehan): Collison has had a strong preseason punctuated by him shouldering the scoring burden last night. But it’s tough to make any such concrete statements based on the preseason. For example, tonight’s matchup features Andre Miller, another premier backup point guard.
Luke Laubhan, (@lukelaubhan): He certainly looks like it. On a given night, Jarrett Jack might supply 28 points, or Andre Miller might rack up 14 assists, and I suppose Jerryd Bayless might be considered more combustible, but for a full season, give me Collison’s steady consistency and all-around game. He’s truly a professional backup point guard.
2. We’re five games into preseason heading into tonight. Any better sense of the Mullens, Hollins, Jamison, Amundson, Davies conundrum?
Frankel: Not really. All these players are equally flawed and it will likely come down to who impresses the most in practice any given day. I doubt there will really be a set hierarchy.
Han: Mullens seems to be getting the brunt of the minutes during preseason. But this could simply be because the coaching staff is trying to collect as much information as possible regarding Byron. If Mullens continues to get the bulk of the backup minutes, though, it may be evidence that he’ll be the first big off the bench.
Laubhan: What we know at this point: Mullens shoots – like, a lot – Hollins is the same player he was last year, Jamison will survive against backups but struggle versus starters, Amundson hustles but scares no one, and Davies is a rookie playing on the wing for the first time. So, I think the answer’s “no.”
3. Preferred matchup to watch tonight: Ty Lawson v. Chris Paul, Kenneth Faried v. Blake Griffin, JaVale McGee v. DeAndre Jordan?
Frankel: “Pierre” McGee and Jordan. First, if Pierre isn’t part of your preferred matchup every Nuggets game, you’re doing basketball watching wrong. And second, this should be a legitimately interesting tug-of-war between two athletic specimens, both with massive question marks about their games going into the season.
Han: JaVale and DeAndre in a matchup of two first names, four capital letters. Both hyper athletic and tantalizing athletes, I’d be pretty content to just watch them play one-on-one for 48 minutes in lieu of the actual game.
Laubhan: For my money, it’s Blake versus the Manimal – two high-energy super athletes capable of producing highlights at any moment, each one a player whose solid overall game is occasionally eclipsed by his own electricity. It’s like a couple of ballistic missiles arm-wrestling – how can you not watch that?