Hawks John Collins Snubbed, Named to NBA All-Rookie Second Team

John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images)
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images) /

In the midst of 2018 NBA Draft prognostication, news broke today via the NBA of what players were named to the All-Rookie teams, and the Hawks John Collins made the Second Team.

We have campaigned heavily for JC to be named to the first team, but the Hawks young big man was lacking the counting stats, three-point shooting numbers and (perhaps most importantly) a big NBA market to bolster his argument for the First Team.

Here are the full teams:

We have no qualms with the inclusion of Ben Simmons, Donovan Mitchell and Jayson Tatum, who were clearly the best rookies this season and led their teams to impressive playoff runs (with Tatum’s still going strong).

Kyle Kuzma was also extremely deserving of his First Team plaudits, as he was one of the Lakers’ most prolific scorers during his rookie season, showing a variety of offensive skills that would make any team glad to have him.

So, that means it came down to Lauri Markkanen and our fearless hero John the Baptist for the final first team selection. Though Markkanen definitely put forth an impressive rookie display (becoming the fastest rookie to make 100 three-pointers), John Collins was far more deserving of the final First Team All-Rookie slot.

The numbers back this up:

Collins dominated Markkanen in advanced stats, as his per-minute contributions to the Hawks were far more impressive than Markkanen’s. JC bested Markkanen in the following advanced stats: Offensive Rating (117 to 107), Defensive Rating (108 to 110), Player Efficiency Rating (18.3 to 15.6), True Shooting Percentage (62% to 55.2%) and Win Shares (5.4 to 3.3).

Though Markkanen had a slightly higher usage (21.9% to 17.9%) and also put up 350+ more three-pointers than JC, Collins was clearly one of the Hawks’ best players when he was out there, and he was able to exert his will on many opposing players with his tenacious rebounding, vitriolic finishing and electric athleticism.

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Also, if the argument is that Markkanen had better counting stats, that might be true if you’re just looking at points. However, in terms of totals, John Collins had superior overall numbers in the following categories: offensive rebounds (176 to 79), total rebounds (541 to 508), assists (98 to 79), steals (47 to 39) and, most impressively, blocks, where JC doubled up Markkanen’s numbers (80 to 40), despite Markkanen’s clear height advantage. Beyond that, John Collins even played in six more games than Markkanen, 74 to 68.

John Collins compiled an impressive statistical resume in the 2017-18 season that was sadly overlooked due to the poor performance of the Hawks coupled with a less glitzy NBA market in Atlanta.

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Though Collins’ exclusion from the NBA’s All-Rookie First Team is a dispiriting (if not altogether unsurprising) result, hopefully JC will come back next season ready to show the league why they were fools to snub him.