Darren Collison had 20 assists last night. TWENTY. Amazing. Not only that, he made the clutch floater to seal the game. Since Chris Paul went down to injury (the 2nd time) this year, Collison has put up allstar numbers. Not just great numbers for a rookie, but great numbers for an perennial allstar point guard, averaging 21 points and 10 assists. He's shooting 50% from the field and over 40% on 3s. Couldn't be happier for him. Again, he stayed 4 years under Howland's tutelage and it is certainly paying off. Now I know that his stats may not be replicable in a different environment or a different team, but it simply means that he has what it takes to be a long-term success in the NBA. Now if we can only get him off Chris Paul's team...
Though Kevin Durant is the one in all conversations for league MVP, Russell Westbrook has quietly made a name for himself in the NBA. This year, he has averaged nearly 17 points, 8 assists and 5 rebounds a game. For someone who didn't have a real Div 1 scholarship until UCLA came around and then was roundly panned by critics for being a top 4 pick in the draft, he has been an absolute revelation in the NBA. Even though the frosh/soph allstar game is just a showcase, he was absolutely the standout (along with Tyreke Evans).
I just know that Howland wishes he could replay that fateful Final Four game vs Memphis. Had he put Westbrook on Rose (and Moute on Chris Douglas-Roberts), we should have won. A lineup with Kevin Love, Moute, Westbrook and Collison should've won a championship. (ok, exhale).
Matt Barnes mixed it up with Kobe in Sunday's Magic win over the Lakers. Their physical confrontation led to technicals as well. Barnes resented Kobe openly throwing elbows without penalty from the refs and was willing to stand up to him. The day after, Lamar Odom called Barnes "Ric Flair" for his physical style. Awesome. Anyone willing to stand up to the Lakers is good by me. I'll never forget Matt Barnes running off the court after a bad home loss at UCLA, pausing in front of our student section just long enough to yell, " Our coach sucks!". Of course, he was referring to Steve Lavin. Barnes is still his outspoken self, apparently.
How are our Bruin alumni doing this year anyway?
Kevin Love 15 points, 11.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists
Trevor Ariza 15.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.7 assists
Matt Barnes 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.7 assists
LRMA Moute 6.7 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.1 assists
Ryan Hollins 6.8 points, 3.0 rebounds, 0.8 assists
Jason Kapono 3.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.4 assists
Dan Gadzuric 2.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.5 assists
Russell Westbrook 16.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 7.9 assists
Baron Davis 15.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.9 assists
Darren Collison 11.0, 2.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists
Arron Afflalo 9.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists
Earl Watson 7.4 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.5 assists
Jordan Farmar 7.6 points, 1.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists
Jrue Holiday 6.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists