If you have not heard yet, the initial All-Star voting results have been released, and no Hawks players are in site for a starting All-Star spot. The two players with the most votes (Vince Carter and Jeremy Lin) aren’t even starters on their own team!
Derrick Rose is 2nd in Western Conference All-Star voting for guards after first fan returns. pic.twitter.com/hcz5V0iAxh
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) January 3, 2019
Carter is obviously receiving a boost from the fans he has made around the league over his 20+ years in the NBA. It would be a miracle if he accumulated enough votes to earn a starting spot, but it would be an excellent testimony to the impact he has had on basketball as a whole throughout his career.
Second among Hawks in voting is Jeremy Lin, who ranks ahead of both Bradley Beal and John Wall. Off the bench for Atlanta, Lin is quietly putting together another solid season in the NBA and proving to be a quality sixth man. Due to his popularity with Chinese fans and stint in New York known as “Linsanity,” it is no surprise that Lin is getting a little more respect than he probably deserves.
However, what this tells me is that Hawks’ fans have been slacking in the voting process. Atlanta may not have much talent on the floor. It’s also pretty obvious they are tanking for draft position. But John Collins deserves to be among the players on the top of this list.
Sure, he might have missed the first fifteen games of the season, but when has that really mattered in All-Star voting? This is a fan vote, and it’s disappointing not enough people are taking note of what this second-year player is doing.
On the year, Collins is averaging 18.8 points and 10.3 rebounds with a 21.19 PER. Those numbers alone are worthy for most All-Star teams, especially in a much weaker Eastern Conference. And what those stats do not take into account is that Collins came off a significant ankle injury and had a minutes restriction when he finally returned. It’s really not appropriate to grade his play until the month of December.
To put it mildly, December was a John Collins break out party. He averaged 21.3 points per game and did so on an efficient 57.4% from the field while showcasing his newfound three-point arsenal, shooting 33.3% from behind the arc.
He also contributed 12.9 boards per night, which would be fifth in all of basketball and second among power forwards behind Anthony Davis over an entire year.
At this point, John Collins has already come into his own. He is an All-Star that could potentially bud into a superstar. Not only Hawks fans, but fans around the league need to be aware of what this 21-year old is doing. Forget Jayson Tatum (15.7 PER). Forget Donovan Mitchell (13.8 PER). John Collins is the best player to come out of the 2017 draft.
Click here to vote John Collins into the 2019 All-Star Game!