Recapping John Collins’ 20-10 season for the Atlanta Hawks.
The Atlanta Hawks’ playoff chances in 2019-2020 were hit by a sledgehammer when John Collins was suspended by the league for 25-games just a few days into the season. While Trae Young was already playing like the All-Star he would soon become, he couldn’t win games all by himself, and the team went a disastrous 4-21 during the suspension.
Upon returning, Collins had a bit of a slow start but quickly refound his footing. The third-year forward started to contribute high-quality minutes on a nightly basis around the change from 2019 to 2020.
While he was a threat to go for 30 points on any given night, he was more consistently hovering around the 20 point mark. He was also making strides as a rebounder, frequently pulling down ten or more per game.
Around the middle of February, I started to more closely follow John Collins’ quest to record a 20-10 season. Averaging 20 points and 10 rebounds per game throughout a full season used to be a benchmark statistic for a quality big, although, in the age of floor-spacing, they’re growing rarer by the year.
Collins very nearly reached this mark last season, recording 19.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore. This year, he improved just enough to record a 20-10 campaign, becoming the first Atlanta Hawk to do so since Moses Malone in 1988-1989.
Only four other NBA players joined Collins in the 20-10 club, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Karl-Anthony Towns, Nikola Jokic, and Joel Embiid. That’s pretty elite company for the 22-year-old Collins, who will be eligible for a contract extension this summer.
There is a chance this is the last time we see the high-flying forward record this feat, as part of the reason that Collins was able was grab so many boards was because the Hawks lacked a true center.
Now, with Clint Capela on the team, there may be fewer opportunities on the glass for John. He’ll certainly have to fight a bit more, although the points should still be there.
John Collins’ 2019-2020 season was truly historic for the Atlanta Hawks and showed his worth to the team moving forward. He’s a great side-kick to the perimeter-minded Young and a true building block of the team moving forward.
Should the Atlanta Hawks give a max extension to John Collins?