Atlanta Hawks’ Midseason Grades: John Collins

Giving Atlanta Hawks’ forward John Collins a grade for the first half of the season.

The Atlanta Hawks reached the halfway point of their season Tuesday night, beating the Suns to move to 9-32 through their first 41 games.

That makes it a good time to give out some grades to players, which we’ve done already with Kevin Huerter and Brandon Goodwin.

Here, we’ll be taking a look at third year forward John Collins, who ended up playing just 15 games during the team’s first half slate. He was suspended in early November for 25 games by the league for violating the substance abuse policy.

The Hawks went 4-21 in his absence, showing how important JC is to the team’s success. He’s shown that again since returning.

Collins is the team’s leading rebounder sitting at 9.7 a game through those 15, and is averaging a career best 2.2 blocks per contest.

He’s a bit down in terms of scoring numbers from last year, averaging 17.3 currently compared to the 19.5 he put up a year ago. Still, only Trae Young is averaging more points per game on the team.

Collins’ best strength continues to be his high-flying nature, and is one of the most fun players in the league when he’s at his rim-running peak.

Collins has been the team’s starting center of late, a position he played only sparingly throughout his first two seasons. The team’s turn to small ball has been met with mediocre results, but JC is showing that he can at least list center as his secondary position.

He’s averaged a double-double since moving to that position, and is blocking a healthy 2.3 shots per game. The small ball experiment may not end great for the Hawks’ record, but it could do well for Collins’ end-of-season stat sheet.

Verdict/2nd half outlook:

JOHN COLLINS

PF/C, Atlanta Hawks

B +

Grading off the 15 of Collins’ non-suspended games, he’s been just as good as he was in his breakout season a year ago, and even better in some categories.

Collins will likely be the starting center for the rest of the season unless a deadline deal for another five goes through.

Next: Hawks beat Suns 123-110: Recap/Reactions

He’s starting to pick up where he left of a year ago, and with just 15 games played, it still feels like ‘The Baptist’ is at the start of his season. I expect big things from him in the back nine.

 

 

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