There might not be a more polarizing player in Atlanta than John Collins. Falcons fans love to argue about Matt Ryan and now Marcus Mariota. Braves Country loves to argue about Matt Olson. And the Hawks faithful are torn on JC.
After the worst loss of the season against the Raptors, fans took to social media to take out their frustrations, and Collins was undoubtedly a target after his 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 12 rebound performance. Still, amid a less-than-stellar showing, Collins reached a milestone, joining Bam Adebayo and Jarrett Allen as the only players from the 2017 NBA Draft class to reach triple-digit double-doubles.
John Collins has registered his 101st career double-double, the third-most among players in the 2017 NBA Draft class (Bam Adebayo/Jarrett Allen – 119).
— Hawks PR (@HawksPR) November 1, 2022
I have said it repeatedly, but Collins is versatile and efficient enough to be the third option on a championship-caliber team. Unfortunately, the Hawks look like anything but championship contenders. The loss against the Raptors was revealing. The entire offseason was spent on getting better defenders and ball handlers around Trae Young. However, the club is still one of the worst defensive teams in the Association, 25th in defensive rating (115.4). The early returns aren’t promising.
And the switch to more ball handlers has severely affected the Hawks’ offensive identity. Atlanta has been taking a ton more two-pointers compared to last year, and it’s probably because the Hawks traded away all of their shooters — Kevin Huerter and Danilo Gallinari. Bogdan Bogdanovic returning to the lineup should help; Trae Young and John Collins improving their shooting percentage to their career averages should also help, but this team still has flaws.
A group as talented as this one to underachieve is unacceptable. At a certain point, it’s not the chemistry on the court. Nate McMillan has to be feeling the heat under his seat. If the Hawks continue to perform like this, we could see a similar situation unfold as when McMillan took over for Lloyd Pierce.
Photographer: Austin McAfee/Icon Sportswire