In their last 25 games, since John Collins was suspended, the Atlanta Hawks went 4-21. Now, sitting in the basement of the NBA, the Hawks will get a much-needed boost when Collins returns to play tonight.
The Atlanta Hawks have been one of the worst teams in all of the NBA, if not the worst. Before the season started, this is not what fans or analysts were predicting for this young team. Sure, there would be bumps along the way, but some even predicted this Hawks team would sneak their way into the playoffs led by Trae Young and John Collins. Those positive predictions before the season got turned on their heads when it was announced John Collins would be suspended for 25 games back in October.
Now, had Collins been with the team, it’s possible the Hawks would have finished those 25 games with a record near or below the .500 mark. It’s highly unlikely the Hawks, with Collins, would have bottomed out the way they did. In the 25 games without Collins, the Hawks went 4-21 including a ten-game losing streak and the current seven-game losing streak the Hawks are in the midst of now.
Fast forward 25 games since the suspension, Collins is due to return tonight when the Hawks take on the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight. At 6-24, the Hawks are sitting at the bottom of the Eastern Conference after the dreadful November and December. While Collins won’t be the savior that will lead the Hawks to the playoffs, his presence as a double-double threat will be huge for this young Hawks team.
For a season that has gone very bad very quickly, the Hawks still have a lot to play for going into 2020. With 52 games remaining, the Hawks can dig themselves out of the deep hole they’ve played their way into. With Collins and Huerter back to full strength, the Hawks are going to look like the team they were last season. Not as much will be asked of Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, and Bruno Fernando. However, with all the playing time they’ve accrued since Collins went out, Reddish and Hunter can now play with less pressure and more of the roles they were planning to have when the season started. Don’t expect Collins to be the savior the Hawks need but expect this team to start winning more than they have been.