John Collins is arguably the most talented player on the Atlanta Hawks roster. He and Dennis Schroder have the potential to be a dynamic duo like Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan in San Antonio, and Chris Paul and Blake Griffin in Los Angeles. These duos led their teams to playoffs consistently and, in San Antonio’s case, multiple championships.
Collins has not received any starts yet for the Hawks, but even if he did, he probably wouldn’t average many minutes anyway. Collins currently leads the league in personal fouls with 67. The next closest total belongs to DeMarcus Cousins, who has a total of 63 fouls. The concerning part about comparing Collins to Cousins is the Atlanta forward averages about twelve fewer minutes per game compared to the New Orleans’ center.
One of the reasons Collins does not often get to play as many minutes is his frequent fouling. If Collins could avoid foul trouble and handle a full workload, then he could replicate more impressive performances like Monday night’s game against the San Antonio Spurs. In that game, the rookie forward played 36 minutes and finished with 21 points. He also added nine rebounds and two blocks.
His per 36 minutes statistics are also very impressive: 18.9 points, 11.9 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks. Unfortunately, Collins also averages 6.4 fouls per 36 minutes. Collins must find a way to limit his fouls if he hopes to get more playing time and eventually earn a spot in the starting lineup.
Whether he starts or comes off the bench, Collins will continue to be productive and make highlight-reel plays in whatever amount of time he is allowed to play. Based on the talent and athleticism displayed by Collins so far, he already appears to be one of the steals of the 2017 NBA Draft. If Collins progresses as expected in his rookie year and beyond, the Hawks rebuilding process will likely be centered around their young power forward along with Schroder and future assets.
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