Atlanta Hawks : 3 improvements John Collins must make next season

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports /

Atlanta Hawks offseason improvement No.2 for John Collins) Being smarter defensively

Before this past season, you heard one of the biggest things Collins needed to improve as his defense. He had a defensive rating of 112.4 this season, which was third on the team. He has always been a willing defender and is able to make it tough on his opponent. The one part of his defensive game he needs to improve is being smarter. Sometimes, Collins gets into foul trouble with silly, careless fouls.

Collins needs to be better with his positioning and not being baited by the player he is guarding. An example of this is Game 2 of the first round against the Knicks. This was his worse game of the playoffs due to being in foul trouble the whole game. In Games 3 and 4 he improved and made better defensive decisions. This led to him contributing to Julius Randle shooting 29.8 percent for the series.

If Collins can improve that area of his defense, while he may never be an All-NBA defender, he can be solid. His athleticism already allows him to be a good shot blocker. Collins also needs to get bigger and stronger to go against the bigger guys, but that can only do so much. If he is in good defensive positioning, doesn’t foul and makes it tough, then Collins has done what is needed of him.