DALLAS – After close inspection, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is very impressed with the speed point guard Darren Collion has displayed thus far in training camp.
“He’s one of the fastest guards I’ve ever played with,’’ Nowitzki said of one of his new teammates. “Obviously, he’s got to use that speed to our advantage.
“He’s got to push the ball off makes, misses -- it doesn’t really matter. He’s got to fly up the court and get the wings running with him.’’
And that’s not all Nowitzki is expecting from Collison.
“He’s got to penetrate for us, make some stuff happen, collapse the defense, kick it out to shooters,’’ Nowitzki said. “We expect him to be our motor every night, like (Jason) Kidd was. We expect him to be a hassle on defense.’’
The Mavs acquired Collison and guard Dahntay Jones from the Indiana Pacers this past summer for center Ian Mahinmi. Collion is expected to take the place vacated by Kidd, who signed a free agent contract with the New York Knicks over the summer.
With Kidd gone, the Mavs have given the keys to their offense to Collison. And during the Mavs’ first two preseason games, Collison produced 28 points and 13 assists.
From what he's seen so far, Nowitzki believes the Mavs' offense is in capable hands.
“He’s very quick, he can turn the defenders a couple of times, (and) he has extremely quick feet and hands,’’ Nowitzki said. “He’s going to be very important to us this year, and he’s off to a great start.
“Off the court, he’s a great guy. He’s a quiet guy. He just goes about his business.’’
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter