Thursday, May 8, 2008

Jarron Collins

I was hoping this post could wait until the season ended, but after watching last night's game I realized the drum beat needs to start now. A few weeks back The Crotty Kid wrote an insightful piece on this blog about Shane Battier entitled, "Why is This Man Not on the Jazz?" I would like to reverse that question and ask it about Jarron Collins: Why exactly does this man continue to suit up for the team we all love?

Collins' play (11 minutes last night!) is infuriating. But let's start by giving the him a fair shake and listing his attributes:
  • He looks damn good in a sweater vest (see above).
  • He has a twin brother who is also in the NBA. This is important because it gives the mainstream media something to write about. Unlike the rest of America, today's journalists haven't fully wrapped their head around the concept of twins. They're especially enamored of them when they play sports (i.e. the Barbers and the Lopez twins at Stanford). I shudder to think what will happen when the first set of triplets makes the majors or plays in the NFL. The New York Times will probably run a bi-monthly A1 story on their progress.
  • He is good at catching D Will's hot pad at the end of warm ups.
  • He is a gentleman and a leader in the locker room. I've heard a number of people who work for the Jazz say that Collins is quote, a real stand up guy, unquote. In eighth grade I also had the pleasure of playing basketball against Collins (actually, the Collins twins -- you can imagine how the undersized team from Salt Lake City fared in that game) and am proud to report that he didn't swear, get technicals, or start a fight during the game.
Now, let's look at where Collins falls short:
  • He is undersized. Listed at 6'11, I am told, again on good authority, that he is closer to 6'7 or 6'8. There is no such thing as a 6'8 center in the NBA.
  • In turns out he is actually terrible at playing the game of basketball. Most recent case in point: in 17 minutes of action in the playoffs he has yet to score. This is after averaging less than two points and two rebounds a game during the regular season.
  • According to John Hollinger's PER ratings, Collins is the 415th best player in the league -- sandwiched in between Chris Anderson and Mardy Collins (I don't even know who those people are, but for Mardy Collins' sake, I hope he's not somehow related). Now, there are 30 teams in the NBA and each team has 12 players on its active roster. 30 x 12 equals 360. When you're the 415th best out of a group of 360. . . well, it's not good.
Come this offseason, Collins must go. How or where or who replaces him, I care not. He is the 7th highest paid player on the team (he makes as much money as Millsap and Brewer combined), yet contributes less than anyone who sees regular minutes. Because of his ineptitude, when Memo is on the bench we basically have no one over 6'9 to spell him. Come on Larry, wake up!


Orlando said...

I notice that his PER is better than his most obvious replacement, Kyrlyo "The Chernobyl Giant" Fesenko.

I will say this: if Collins were not on the team this year, we would have increased our number of playoff victories by exactly zero. Collins is not the answer, nor is he the problem.

Pasty Gangsta said...

Collins is a major problem in that basketball is a team game and every player who is part of the rotation (as he is) is a huge component of wins and losses. Just look at the difference between Collins and Okur vs. Boozer and Millsap. When Memo was hurt this year and we had to START Collins I would wager that we lost at least a game or two because of it. That right there is the difference between homecourt in the playoffs and playing the Hornets instead of the Lakers right now. I would also challenge you, Crotty Kid, to name a top five NBA team (as I believe the Jazz are) with a worse player in its rotation. As for Fes, he's a rookie -- he'll get better. Collins is a veteran by this point. He has no excuses.

Ryan said...

At this point, the difference between Collins and Fesenko is potential. Neither presently helps us on the court, but Collins's best days - if you can call them that - are behind him, while Fesenko is still very young and has the size and athletic ability to be a meaningful contributor in the future.

As for the present, I would rather not see either of them on the court during the remainder of our season.

Orlando said...

I accept your challenge, gangsta. From the teams left in the playoffs:

- Cavs, Dwayne Jones
- Hornets, Ryan Bowen
- Spurs, Jacque Vaughn
- Lakers, Ira Newble
- Orlando, James Augustine

We can argue whether one of these guys is better or worse than Collins. My point is that the 12th man rarely makes a difference.

Pasty Gangsta said...

12th man? Since when has Collins been our 12th man??? He's our backup center and has been in the rotation for years! He started more games for us this year than Harp, Millsap and Korver put together. My challenge was not to name the worst player on those other teams -- it was to name a worse player who is expected to contribute.

Even talking about Collins is upsetting me, so I will end with this. We're screwed either way with Jarron. If we play him he kills us and if we bench him we don't have a backup center. He has to go.

Orlando said...

I think it's unfair to call him our "backup" center when he has played an average of 4 minutes in only 4 playoff appearances. Obviously he's not the first guy off the bench when Okur's fatigue sets in.

But I agree, the Jazz lack a true backup center. But so does 80% of the league. Honestly, I think the Lakers are one of the few teams that is deeper than the Jazz, and that's been exposed in games 1 and 2.

Baltay said...

Gangsta, you should be pleased to find out that ESPN considers him similar to Mark Acres; good times, right?

On the bright side, Mardy Collins is the Knick that tackled JR Smith, igniting that subsequent brawl between the Nugs and Knicks last year, also, he was the cat that Carmelo sucker punched.

Chris Anderson: