NBA Christmas: A gift for each team’s wish list in 2018

Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images /
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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /

Atlanta Hawks: Chemistry for Trae Young and John Collins

John Collins‘ return to the lineup hasn’t had a profound impact on the Atlanta Hawks‘ trajectory. This is still undoubtedly a rebuilding franchise, without an established star in place. The cornerstones are there, but making sure they fit together is the next step.

Before Collins made his season debut, Atlanta had gone 3-12, ranking 30th in offensive rating (101.1) and 26th in defensive rating (110.9). In the 15 games he’s played, the Hawks have gone 4-11, improving to 27th in offensive rating (103.6) and 23rd in defensive rating despite posting a slightly worse number in that category (111.7).

Collins has had a positive impact, but not an overbearing one by any means. He and rookie Trae Young developing chemistry is paramount, especially for the team’s centerpiece who’s a nifty passer and its athletic rim-roller and dynamic finisher. Young’s numbers have fallen off since his hot start for a number of reasons, but the contrast with and without Collins is striking, and needs to start trending in the opposite direction:

  • Young without Collins: 16.7 PPG, 8.0 APG, 3.3 RPG, .400/.256/.814 shooting splits
  • Young with Collins: 14.3 PPG, 6.3 APG, 2.1 RPG, .357/.243/.766 shooting splits