Lloyd Pierce joined 92.9 The Game this morning to talk the Hawks discouraging 6-22 start, and unsurprisingly, one of the things he was asked about was John Collins and his 25-game suspension.
The third-year power forward blossomed into an All-Star caliber player as a sophomore, coming just short of averaging 20 points and 10 boards. And he started even hotter this season, shooting 52.5% from the floor and 47.4% from behind the arc in the five games before his suspension. There’s a reason this team started 2-3, with close losses to Philadelphia and Miami, and is 4-19 since. Collins is the only guy on the Hawks that will star alongside Trae Young every night, and after two more games, he will make his long-awaited return.
In the interview, Pierce revealed that Collins will not have a minutes restriction when he comes back and will be placed in the starting lineup right away.
Lloyd Pierce told @929TheGame this morning that John Collins will have no restrictions when he returns and that he is “going to start right away.”
— Brad Rowland (@BTRowland) December 19, 2019
We will see if there is any rust after 25 games off, but judging by the way he began the season, I don’t think it will take him too long to get in the groove of things.
Finally, the Hawks will have their full core of players on the court and healthy for the first time. They might have dug themselves too big of a hole to make a run at the playoffs, but at least we will have the opportunity to see if this team is ever as good as we thought they were to begin the season.