Atlanta Hawks: Team Awards at Quarter-Season Mark

Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Most Valuable Player: John Collins

It seems odd to give this award to a player that has only played 7 games for the Atlanta Hawks this year with only 5 starts, but here we are. Collins has earned the right to be named the Hawks’ quarter-season MVP, as the team has looked far more cohesive now that he has returned from an offseason injury.

In the 5 games that JC has started, the team has gone 2-3, and he has been a big factor in each of those. By comparison, before Collins’s return to the starting lineup on November 21, the Hawks had gone 1-9 in the month of November.

The eye test alone proves the value of JC on the court for the Atlanta Hawks, as having a bouncy athlete who can finish around the rim with aplomb aids the entire offense, which had sagged with lesser finishers like Alex Len and Dedmon at the center spot and Alex Poythress and rookie Omari Spellman at the four.

Collins already has 14 dunks, which are his trademark so far in the league, and his 63.5 true shooting percentage is behind only Miles Plumlee in limited minutes and Jeremy Lin among his teammates.

Since returning to the Hawks, Collins is putting up per-game averages of 14.3 points (3rd on the team), 6.1 rebounds (2nd on the team) and 3.0 assists (3rd on the team) all with an effective field goal percentage of 59.4 percent (2nd only to Plumlee, who only dunks). Great stuff from this promising sophomore.

The Atlanta Hawks have looked like a completely different team with Collins on the court, which sounds like the mark of a quarter-season MVP to me.