When it comes to a superstar, the Atlanta Hawks are set with Trae Young. However, no one player can do it all by himself, so the emergence of John Collins as a bona fide second option is encouraging for the team.
The Atlanta Hawks had a weekend to remember, beating two playoff teams, the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. It was the Trae Young Show against the Heat when the young superstar dropped a career-high 50 points in the win over Miami. Saturday’s game with the Mavericks belonged to John Collins who set a new career-high in points with 35.
Since returning from his lengthy suspension, John Collins has gotten better and better with each passing game. Saturday, against the Mavs, it all came to the apex of the season for John Collins. Collins finished the game with 35 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, and 1 steal. Those weren’t empty stats either. The Hawks needed every single point and rebound to get past the Mavericks in Atlanta.
Collins has been building towards this since returning in late-December. Like last season, Collins is a walking 20-10, which is what his season average is at, as of today. In 32 games on the season, Collins is averaging more points and rebounds than his first two seasons. Collins is doing this all while shooting an impressive 57/37/80 for the season. He’s shotting more twos and threes than his past two seasons with a better percentage for two’s and three’s. While he’s averaging one less free throw than last season, his free throw percentage has increased this season, too. These are all very promising numbers for Collins and Hawks as they move throughout the remainder of the season.
Collins is playing like he has something to prove, which is kind of true. Lloyd Pierce and the Hawks management made their disappointment known when it was announced John Collins would be missing 25 games due to suspension. With a contract year approaching, and Collins looking for a max contract, missing those 25 games was a big blow to his prospects of getting that contract. On the court, however, Collins is playing his tail off to prove he’s worth the trust and max contract.
For now, with a little over 20 games left in the season, Collins just needs to keep doing what he’s been doing over his last ten games. In his last ten games, Collins is averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 64/44/80 from the field. If Collins can make this last throughout the rest of the season, the Hawks would be fools to part from a player with his talent at that age.