Dallas Mavericks' Failed Derek Fisher Experiment Distracted, Damaged Chemistry

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2012

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 18:  Derek Fisher #6 of the Dallas Mavericks is helped off the court after an injury during play against the Philadelphia 76ers at American Airlines Center on December 18, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Dallas Mavericks picked up Derek Fisher in the hopes that he would bring a veteran presence to a team full of guys who have no experience leading a basketball team. Thanks to a strained right knee, Dallas waived Fisher.

Fisher's injury was never serious. The strained right patellar tendon is an injury that would have kept him out of the game for two weeks or so, but Fisher requested to be waived regardless.

He was having trouble being away from his family yet again, and the knee injury gave him a way to get out of a situation that wasn't going swimmingly in the first place.

At the very least, Fisher was able to knock down his three-pointers. However, over the course of nine games, Fisher was shooting 35 percent from the floor and averaging just over three assists per game. 

Dallas was a better basketball team with Fisher, going 5-4 in his tenure with the Mavericks compared to 7-11 without him, but he may have done more damage than good.

Of course, it wasn't Fisher coming in hoping to cause trouble by shaking the team up, but that's what ended up happening.

When Fisher came in, it was to the detriment of Darren Collison, who started the season as the team's starting point guard.

Collison made the most of his time on the bench. He shot nearly 47 percent, which is an improvement over his 44.6 percent for the entirety of the season. Collison's defense continued to improve, and he showed that he is still able to get to the lane and score at the rack.

The only problem is that he missed out on more reps with the starting lineup and failed to work out any chemistry issues that may have existed before Fisher came on in Dallas.

When Collison was initially benched, he was vocally upset about Rick Carlisle's decision, but he lived with it and went on to help the team in any way possible.

Collison was asked about whether or not he thought he got a fair shot at the starting point-guard spot, and it seemed he was ready to make it known that the team was behind him:

I don’t think so, and we all know that; my teammates, they feel the same way, everybody feels the same way.

Not only was Collison sure he should have continued as the team's starting point guard, but it seems the rest of the team had the same feelings.

Still, the team went out and grabbed Derek Fisher off the street to come in and see whether or not he could do a better job.

The team's record may have been better under Fisher, but he was hardly better than Collison was over the same stretch.

Sure, he may have been a better shooter during his nine-game stand as the team's starting point guard, but he wasn't the up-tempo guard that would have benefited the team's pace and spacing with their extremely potent offense.

Now the Mavs are back to square one.

Do they go back to Collison as the full-time starting point guard, or does Dominique Jones get thrown to the wolves?

If the team does end up going back to Collison, what has changed, exactly?

Is Collison so different after those nine games that Carlisle is willing to trust him with the offense?

It just seems like there is a lot of damage done to the relationship between the two if he expects to completely get along with Collison the rest of the way, and it's just going to get more complicated as Dirk Nowitzki continues to miss games.