Atlanta Hawks: John Collins Placed Too Low in New Rankings

Atlanta Hawks, John Collins (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Atlanta Hawks, John Collins (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Major media publications have debuted new lists, ranking the top 100 players in the NBA. They continue to underestimate the value of Atlanta Hawks young star John Collins.

We are just days away from the October 1 opening of NBA training camps. In anticipation of the upcoming season, Sports Illustrated and ESPN have released their top 100 lists. Both publications have severely undervalued Atlanta Hawks star forward John Collins.

John Collins was one of the most improved players in the NBA last season. His rookie season saw him earn him a selection on the All-Rookie Second Team, averaging 11 points and seven rebounds. Collins improved upon those numbers significantly averaging 20 points and ten boards as an NBA sophomore.

Unfortunately, Collins was overlooked in regards to the NBA’s most valuable player award. He was not a finalist for the award that was claimed by Toronto Raptors forward Pascal Skiakum.

There were many great candidates for the honor such as finalists, Sacramento Kings point guard De’Aaron Fox, along with former Brooklyn Nets and current Golden State Warriors guard D’Angelo Russell. Yet Collins made as big of a leap as anyone, nearly doubling his point total despite playing fewer than six more minutes per game.

Collins did start many more games in his second year, increasing that number from 26 of 74 games as a rookie to 59 of 61 games last season. He showed an improvement in two-point percentage, free throw percentage and increased his assist per game from 1.3 to 2. That is a very solid number for a big man.

One of the biggest additions for John Collins was three-point shooting. He only increased his percentage by one to 35 percent, but his volume expanded by two long-range shots per game, from 0.6 to 2.6. This makes John a valuable commodity, in a league that values versatile big men who can shoot.

The arrival of point guard Trae Young and their ability to form a veteran like chemistry in the pick and roll game together certainly played a part in the improvement of John Collins. However, a lot of his increased productivity is a result of pure hard work.

Recently Sports Illustrated released its list of their top 100 NBA players. John Collins was awarded the number 52 spot on the list. That is far too low.

John finished behind Los Angeles Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari who averaged 20 points, but only six rebounds per game. That was two spots below Tobias Harris a man who was traded mid-season and became the fourth option of the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Atlanta Hawks forward was puzzlingly ranked below Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris who posted totals of 13 points and two assists per game. Collins was also deemed to be a lesser player than Indiana Pacers center Miles Turner who averaged 13 points and seven rebounds, along with 2.7 blocks.

John Collins was rated lower than well-traveled Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe. He was even slighted in favor of former Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap who notched numbers of 12 points and seven rebounds per game. Those are low totals by his standards.

The Atlanta Hawks star rated lower than other declining veterans such as Marc Gasol and Kevin Love. The latter of which played in only 22 games in the 2018-19 campaign due to injury. He also placed behind role player Steven Adams of the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Most puzzling was the fact that he finished a full 14 spots below Kristaps Porzingus of the Dallas Mavericks. Porzingus can score, but he has only played in 48 games over the last two seasons, none of which were last season. He has also never pulled down more than seven boards per game.

The most recent NBA top 100 list was released by ESPN. John Collins fared slightly better on their list, coming in at number 47. However, he still wasn’t given the respect that he deserves.

Not only was John Collins Ranked lower than the usual suspects such as Kevin Love, Miles Turner, and Kristaps Porzingus, but there were also several other head-scratching names above the Atlanta Hawks star forward.

Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic is one example. Gordon who plays the same position as Collins fell shot of John in both points and rebounds with 16 and 7.4 respectively.

Former Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford shockingly placed ten spots higher on the top 100, than John Collins did, while averaging only 13.6 points and 6.7 rebounds. There are small forwards that posted better rebounding totals than Horford.

The most disrespectful selection of any player to be ranked above John Collins is the ranking of New Orleans Pelicans rookie forward Zion Williamson at number 42. It’s amazing that a man who has never played an NBA game is ranked above a proven double-double machine like John Collins. Sure Williamson is oozing with potential, but how can one rank potential above production?

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The NBA top 100 lists show that John Collins still has some work to do when it comes to playing himself onto the radar of the national NBA media. However, with his incredible work ethic, he will accomplish that sooner rather than later.

When he is named to the All-Star team this upcoming season, the media will have to take notice. However, in two years when the Atlanta Hawks are one of the best teams in the NBA, the entire sports world, will know who John Collins is.