John Collins benefiting from new high-paced Hawks offense

After being sidelined for the start of the season, John Collins has gotten off to a blazing start.

He set the tone for the month of December when he posted his career high of 23 points against Charlotte on November 25th. This was merely foreshadowing of what was to come.

Collins has played in six contests this month and has a double-double in all but one. His career high of 23 points did not last long. He set a new career high in three straight games to begin the month, with 24 against Golden State, followed by 26 points against Washington, and then 30 points against Denver. The following game against Dallas, Collins nabbed a career-high 17 boards to go along with 20 points. He has also shot 33.3% from beyond the arc this month. The second-year big man is making a name for himself as the star player in Atlanta.

I asked John how much of an impact playing with more confidence in his second year has had and how much of his success was due to gaining more of a comfort level with new head coach Lloyd Pierce:

“Last year I was getting my feet wet and I think I had a pretty solid year. That gave me a lot of confidence coming into this year just to play and know I can belong and know I can actually score and play with guys in this league”, said Collins. He added, “With Coach Pierce, there has been a learning curve for both of us, learning how he likes to coach and on the opposite end learning how I play. I think that chemistry is building and getting better and better with each game.”

I then asked Collins whether he felt that playing in a new high-paced offense benefitted him personally.

“Definitely. I think with my athleticism and the way I move, the way I can get up and down the court and finish around the rim, also the pressure I put when I roll helps offensively at a fast pace and emphasizes those numbers.”

There is no doubt that the fast-paced offense is helping Collins, and it’s clearly a mixture of all three variables here.

One thing is for sure: the Hawks hit on John Collins, as he is outperforming the majority of the 18 men drafted ahead of him in the 2017 NBA Draft. His mixture of explosiveness and efficiency makes him a pleasure to watch on a nightly basis. His newfound three-point shot that he has added to his bag of tricks makes him a complete player. The Hawks have a steal and a future star in John Collins, and we are witnessing the beginning of that.

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