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Sunday, February 23, 2014
Defense makes Jason Collins a good call

By Mike Mazzeo

Jason Collins may not have been the Brooklyn Nets' first choice, but he may end up being the best choice.

Here’s why:

The Nets struggle defensively without Kevin Garnett on the court, allowing 106.6 points per 100 possessions (compared to 101.1 with him).

Enter Collins.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, for his career (2001-13), Collins’ teams have allowed 97 points per 100 possessions, which is the 10th-best defensive efficiency during that span (min. 20 minutes).

The Nets, if they decide to extend Collins’ 10-day contract, could use him if they face someone like Roy Hibbert in the playoffs.

In his last season with the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards, Collins’ opponents averaged 0.64 points per play when he was the primary defender, third-best in the NBA (min. 100 plays), according to ESPN Stats & Information.

The 35-year-old center isn’t a great rebounder, and the Nets rank 29th in that category.

Last season, he ranked 192nd out of 393 players (min. 10 minutes per game) in rebound percentage (8.9).

But Collins is known for his ability to box out, which should open up some opportunities for his teammates to grab caroms.

Glen Davis, while a superior offensive player, isn’t as strong on defense as Collins is.

Davis ranks 44th out of 55 qualified players in rim protection (min. 40 games played, five opponents’ field goal attempts at rim). He ranks 57th out of 63 in percentage of rebounds per chance.

Also, according to Synergy, he has allowed 0.86 points per play this season, putting him in the 53rd percentile.

He is 33rd in rebound percentage out of 107 qualified players (min. 30 minutes per game).

Bottom line: Collins isn’t the addition that’s going to put the Nets over the top, per se, but given the circumstances, he was one of the best players available. And if his defensive history is any indiction, he can help.