Atlanta Hawks: 3 legends John Collins needs to study

Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Hawks. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports /
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Legends for Atlanta Hawks forward John Collins to study No. 3) Larry Bird

Who better for a forward to study than one of the best to play the game, let alone as a forward. Larry Bird was largely responsible for the popularity of the game worldwide, thanks to his battles with Magic Johnson throughout the 1980s.

The beauty of Bird’s game was that he did not have incredible athleticism, nor did he have a high volume shot from the outside. What he did have was a tremendous understanding of the game of basketball and an X-factor that cannot be coached.

Collins has a different kind of X-factor thanks to his athleticism which can spark his team in the way that Bird could with a heads-up play. However, aside from the team-lifting, how-did-he-do-that moments, Bird was also a very fundamentally sound basketball player who out-thought his opponents. As such, Collins needs to improve his basketball IQ.

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Bird was never out of the play at either end of the court and played hard every possession. Without athleticism though, it was only through out-thinking his opponent that Bird was able to be so dominant. He was also not afraid to do the dirty work, including getting to the line which was money for jam given that he was one of the best ever free throw shooters ever.