Hawks player recap: John Collins

ccompton@ajc.com/Curtis Compton

Second-year forward John Collins enjoyed a wonderful sophomore leap in his 2018-19 campaign, posting career highs in virtually every category and establishing himself as one of the cornerstones of a blossoming NBA franchise.

After barely taking any threes his rookie season, Collins shot the ball much more often in his second year and made them at a respectable 35% clip. He also displayed a much more versatile post game and even showed flashes of being a very good passer for a big.

Collins spent much of his season flying towards the rim on the receiving end of Trae Young alley-oops, and the duo has already garnered well-warranted comparisons to past guard-big combinations like Steve Nash and Amare Stoudemire.

Collins still needs to improve (a lot) on the defensive end of the floor. He has the tools and athleticism to be a very good defender, but he simply lacks the instincts and the awareness it takes to put these tools to good use. When he does try to be aggressive and block more shots, he also commits more fouls, which led him to foul out of several games towards the end of the season. Learning to defend well without fouling will be a big stepping stone in his career.

All in all, however, John Collins’ second year in Atlanta should be viewed very favorably. If he continues improving his jump shot and learning to be a smarter defender, there’s no reason why he can’t be an all-star caliber player in the years to come.

Jackson Stone – @tdjs_network

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