Atlanta Hawks Blog

A blog about Atlanta’s NBA franchise, from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

How Hawks rookie John Collins compares to his NBA peers


Hawks big man John Collins has been one of top rookies in the NBA. He’s been very efficient and productive both offensively and defensively. Statistically, the only real negatives for Collins have been high rates of fouls and turnovers (relative to usage), and a low assist percentage for his position. 

See below how Collins compares statistically to other rookie rotation players and to all NBA rotation bigs. Here’s what coach Mike Budenholzer had to say about Collins’ development: 

Overall, from where he is from the start of the season until now, I think he’s made a ton of progress. I feel like there are ebbs and flow in player development, just like in life. There are times when I want him to be a lot more aggressive, a lot more physical defensively. Have a bigger impact on the game defensively. Part of that is just seeing things and reacting to things and reading things quicker and more urgently. Sometimes it’s just having a more physical presence. 

But then there are times when he does all of those things I listed well. ... He’s been good as the (weakside help defender), understanding verticality (when defending the rim). It’s exciting. He’s doing a lot of things well and he’s got a lot of things to continue to work on. 

Offensively, I’m happy with how he’s shooting corner threes (6-for-13) and added that. ... I think getting to the rim and finishing. I think he’s made some high-level passes and reads. When you are making decisions and reads, you are not going to make the right one every time. It’s an area he can continue to improve. Setting screens, I think he has improved. But there is lots of room to continue his growth offensively, also.

John Collins (via Basketball Reference)

MIN WS PER USG% TS% PTS/36 AST% TO% ORB% DRB% BLK%
All rotation rookies* 12th 3rd 1st 10th 1st 7th 14th 10th 1st 2nd 1st
All rotation bigs+ 68th t32nd t23rd 54th 15th 46th t72nd 64th 8th 33rd t14th

*Among 16 rookies with at least 1,000 minutes played.

+Among 105 players listed as power forwards and center by Basketball Reference with at least 1,000 minutes played.

WS=Win Shares

PER=Player Efficiency Rating

USG%=Usage percentage

TS%=True shooting percentage

PTS/36=Points per 36 minutes


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About the Author

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010.