It can be important to try finding positives even in the most unlikely scenarios. Morale boosts are never a bad thing. Of course, getting blown out by 25 points makes that an even tougher task than it already is, and when that loss comes at home, all bets are off. But that is the position Atlanta Hawks star John Collins finds himself.
Even with the team losing, Collins stood out for his effort on both ends of the floor, perhaps one of the few Hawks players who can lay that claim.
Collins finished with 12 points, three rebounds, and three blocks.
Despite the modest scoring and rebound totals, the blocks highlight why his plus-minus was plus-17. That was third-best among Hawks starters behind Trae Young who had 27 points and Clint Capela who played a little over 18 minutes but still wasn’t what had Collins’ going viral.
John Collins’ highlight rises above demoralizing loss for Atlanta Hawks
During the closing minutes of the third quarter, and with the Hawks already trailing by 18 points, Young found Collins for one of their signature lobs to the rim. Collins caught the ball and proceeded to bring the thunder as the dropped the hammer on Celtics big man – and certified 7-footer – Luke Kornet.
That of course brought out some rather interesting reactions on Twitter including among Celtics fans.
For what it’s worth, Kornet played a really solid game on both ends of the floor in place of injured starter Robert Williams recording four blocks and going 4-for-4 from the floor as the Hawks had difficulty dealing with his length.
But, in today’s world, Collins’ highlight will circulate much more than that.
That also was not the only lob Collins caught from Young in this game, either. The duo connected on an earlier play halfway through the second quarter that also ended with Kornet in the frame but only as he turned around to see Collins skying for the rim. The first play came on one of the few defensive stands the Hawks were able to make in this game.
The Celtics shot better than 54% from the floor and 45% from three. That is the highest efficiency from three and the second-highest overall they have allowed in a game this season.
Meanwhile, the Hawks shot 41.6% overall and 21.9% from downtown.
Collins went 0-for-3 from downtown. But the solid individual effort on defense continues a trend for the sixth-year big man who is posting a 111.2 defensive rating, per Cleaning The Glass, the second-best mark of his career.
The 6-foot-9 Collins has been working with Hawks shooting coach Kyle Korver on his missing perimeter shot. But contributions and moments like these still deserve recognition.