Atlanta Hawks: 5 players who need to keep producing in John Collins absence

Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks. (Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images) /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Hawks have had a resurgence under new interim coach Nate McMillan. A big part of this is that players are now going on the court knowing their role and then executing that role. This has led to McMillan earning the Eastern Conference coach of the month honor for March.

John Collins was responding extremely well to McMillan, setting a career-high with 38 points against the Golden State Warriors and the “best defender to ever play in the NBA” in the form of Draymond Green.

Collins seems to be re-energized, being active and engaged the entire time he is on the court. There were games under coach Lloyd Pierce that Collins would be dominant in the first half and not get a shot for the entire second half. Tellingly, Collins has a negative plus/minus in only five games of the 13 he has played under McMillan, including the game where he injured his ankle.

The Atlanta Hawks cannot catch a break on the injury front.

The Hawks have had so many injuries this season, they would be forgiven for tanking for another high draft pick. However, they are not doing that and the team is switched on, and they are finding a way to win.

Collins injured his ankle against the Phoenix Suns and the already depleted Hawks have shown resilience in the face of adversity. They won the two games since Collins was sidelined and that was at the end of an eight-game road trip.

Now, let’s take a look at the five players who have stepped up already, but will need to keep producing until Collins comes back. That may be at the end of the week, or it could be longer. Ankles are notoriously hard to predict.