DC has not been completely himself every since he returned from his injury. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. It takes some time for athletes like DC, whose game depends so much on their quickness and explosiveness to round into their original form. Pucin reports on how DC is working on getting back to his old form:It's a process Darren Collison could have done without, an experiment he wishes hadn't been necessary.
Collison, UCLA's junior point guard, sprained his knee last month, missed five weeks of practices and games and is still figuring out how to heal his body and jump start his instincts.
After playing 26 minutes off the bench against George Washington, Collison has started twice. He played 39 minutes in a loss to Texas and 36 against Davidson, and says he is still looking for his perfect form. He is averaging 12 points a game and has 11 assists to only two turnovers in his 101 minutes in three games.
Those are numbers that wouldn't embarrass anyone. But the 6-foot, 160-pound Collison was a preseason All-American who has the NBA as a goal. When another little guard, 6-foot, 165-pound T.J. Ford of Toronto was taken off a court on a stretcher, swatted there effortlessly by Al Horford earlier this week, it just showed how necessary it is for Collison to prove his resilience.
"It's real tough to come back right away," Collison said. "I realized against George Washington that I wasn't in game shape. Mentally I thought I was ready. Physically I thought I was ready to go. But game shape? That's hard to get back. It's going to take me a couple more games."
Luckily for Collison, he has a chance to do that without much fear of his team losing. The eighth-ranked Bruins (8-1) play host to Idaho State (2-6) on Saturday, then Western Illinois (3-6) and to Michigan (3-6) and play host to UC Davis (4-5) before beginning Pacific 10 Conference play at Stanford on Jan. 3. I am firm believer in patience when it comes to injuries. I hope DC doesn't force it and takes his time in the coming games. We will need him during the stretch run of the Pac-10 season and the Big Dance. We are fortunate to have players like Westbrook who can step up in the mean time.