Atlanta Hawks: John Collins Deserves All-Star Buzz

John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
John Collins #20 of the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

A look at the season that John Collins of the Atlanta Hawks is having and a discussion of why he deserves All-Star hype.

While the Atlanta Hawks are nowhere the playoff race this season, second-year big man John Collins should be seriously considered for an All-Star berth.

After being snubbed for the First Team in All-Rookie voting last season, Collins missed a multitude of games to start the season, but has since returned to the team and absolutely tearing it up.

Though his nascent three-point shooting stroke has not quite returned to its previous season and preseason heights, Collins is overall dominating opposing teams and is the current leader on the Atlanta Hawks in points per game (18.6), rebounds per game (10), defensive rebounds (6.5) and offensive rebounds (3.5).

JC does not yet qualify due to missing all that time to start the season, but his 10 boards per game would place him at 16th in the league. Similar caveats apply to his true shooting percentage of 62.6, which would be tied for 20th with Nemanja Bjelica. His 60.6 effective field goal percentage is 12th in the league, and he paces the Hawks in a myriad of advanced metrics: Player Efficiency Rating (21.0), win shares (1.2, tied with Kent Bazemore and Jeremy Lin), total rebound rate (18.4%) and offensive rebound rate (12.4%).

All of this adds up to a resume that’s worthy of All-Star consideration.

Let’s lay out who’s almost a shoo-in for the Eastern Conference squad:

76ers: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler
Bucks: Giannis Antetokounmpo
Pacers: Victor Oladipo
Raptors: Kawhi Leonard
Celtics: Kyrie Irving
Hornets: Kemba Walker
Pistons: Blake Griffin

Now, here are a few more players that might not have the pedigree or current-season resume to make a true claim:

Wizards: Bradley Beal
Raptors: Pascal Siakam
Bucks: Khris Middleton
Magic: Nikola Vucevic

If all of these players are indeed voted in or named by the coaches into the game, then that leaves two slots open. Of course, these players are not guarantees to make it save for a few (Embiid, Giannis, Kawhi), which means that there might even be more opportunity for John the Baptist to make a rise to the All-Star game in his second season.

Next. Bazemore Trade Scenarios for Every Contender. dark

No matter what, Collins will be present for the Rising Stars Game, as his high-flying dunking ability should be one of the most coveted skills on display in the game. Let’s hope our man JC makes the Dunk Contest too!

All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference and current as of 12-28.