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Atlanta Hawks: John Collins Proving to be an Important Core Piece - Dec 13, 2018


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DAVID EDOLE
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John Collins
John Collins (208-PF-97, college: Wake Forest) was the first draft pick that Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk made. Schlenk selected Collins, a forward out of Wake Forrest with pick number 19 in the 2017 NBA Draft.

After being selected to the All Rookie Third Team following last season, John Collins showed flashes of taking his game to an even higher level in summer league. An injury to his ankle delayed Collins' season debut, causing him to miss the first 15 games of the season.''

As he has recovered from injury and gotten back into game shape, John Collins has really hit his stride. He has recorded five consecutive double doubles. Over those five games, Collins is posting strong averages of 23.5 points and 13 rebounds per game. He has shot 61.2 percent from the field during the streak.

In fact, prior to Wednesday's game against the Dallas Mavericks, Collins had set career highs in scoring for three straight games. He recorded scores of 24,26, and 30 points the the three contests. John finished with 20 points and 17 rebounds against the Mavericks.

In 12 games this season, the Dunkin Deacon is averaging 18.2. points per game. He is also pulling down 9 rebounds and dishing out 2.5 assists. John Collins is making a respectable 59.9 percent of his shots and 75 percent of his free throws.

John Collins is putting up robust numbers and he's averaging only 28.7 minutes per game. This is due to the fact that he was on a minutes restriction, in his first few games back from injury.

John is developing into the prototype for today's NBA big man. He is very quick and able to run the floor well. Collins also possess good lateral quickness, allowing him to do a better job than most big men against perimeter players. This really comes in handy, when switching the pick and roll.

Offensively, John Collins has good hands, quickness and leaping abilities, that make him an elite finisher in the pick at roll, and a top notch finisher at the rim in general. He and rookie point guard Trae Young, are already forming one of the most exciting pick and roll duos and lob combinations in the NBA.

More than just a pick and roll player, John Collins can post up too. He often uses quickness to beat his man and extend to the rim. He also has a drop step, jump hook, and up and under moves inside. Collins is also able to drive all the way to the basket from the perimeter using his quick first step to blown by the defender.

ohn Collins has also shown an improved ability as a passer. He has had five games with four or more assists already this season. This passing ability gives hope that Collins is a player, that the Atlanta Hawks can run their offense through at times.

Even though his percentage is down, John Collins has shown increased confidence from the three-point line. He is on pace to attempt 150 three pointers this season, even though he has missed 15 games. As a rookie, Collins attempted just 47 threes.

Even if Collins doesn't catch fire from downtown, he is on pace to make 37 threes this year. This would more than double his output of 16 made three pointers last season.

John has shown improvement in his outside shooting recently. After going seven straight games without a made three, he made a combined 5/10 shots from behind the arch against Washington and Denver, before going without a made three pointer against Dallas.

The main area that John Collins needs to improve to become the Atlanta Hawks version of today's ideal big man, is shot blocking. He has just seven blocks in 12 games played. John certainly has the length and quick leaping ability to be a good shot-blocker. He just needs to focus more on weak side help defense.

The other area that John Collins is lacking in is steals. Incredibly he has only one steal for the 2018-19 season. It's clear that Collins has a lot of room for improvement at the help portion of defense altogether. However to be fair, John is a sold on-ball defender.

The emergence of John Collins, the flashes of great play by rookie Trae Young and the rise of number 19 pick rookie Kevin Huerter, are giving us a glimpse of just how bright the Atlanta Hawks future can be.

Add in flashes of good play by number 30 pick, rookie Omari Spellman and second year man Tyler Dorsey and Travis Schlenk's ability to evaluate and draft talent, appears to be golden thus far.

The five previously mentioned Schlenk draft selections, team with third year wing players Taurean Prince and DeAndre' Bembry to form a nice young core. A core Atlanta Hawks general manager Travis Schlenk can build with and add to. John Collins is certainly a key cog in that core.

by Jordan Jackson   




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UVI teams return to action tonight, Tuesday - 1 day ago
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