How Are Jazz Helping Revitalize John Collins Career?
Nov 13, 2023, 2:19 PM | Updated: 3:33 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz haven’t the ideal start to their 2023-24 campaign, but among the few bright spots, John Collins deserves praise.
The team’s biggest offseason addition joined the Jazz coming off arguably the worst season of his career, seeing his numbers dip across the stat sheet, as his role dwindled in an Atlanta Hawks organization that was undergoing significant changes on the coaching staff and in the front office.
Collins’ biggest issues were on the offensive end during his final season with the Hawks where his shooting percentages plummeted, including career lows in field goal percentage and three-point percentage.
Though he’s only made 10 appearances with the Jazz, it seems the old John Collins is back.
How Has John Collins Looked For The Jazz?
In 31 minutes a night, Collins is scoring 15.0 points per game. nearly two better than last season’s average, and he’s grabbing 8.0 rebounds per night, his highest since the 2019-20 season.
So what are the Jazz doing to revitalize Collins?
“I’ve told John from the first day that I met him here that my goal was for him to just think of himself as a basketball player,” Coach Will Hardy said. “Dribble, pass, and shoot.”
By the end of his tenure in Atlanta, Collins’ role was largely diminished to standing in the corner to shoot kick-out threes, or to run pick and roll.
— KSL Sports (@kslsports) November 11, 2023
With a proven rim finisher in Clint Capela, and Collins dwindling shooting numbers, his already confined role regressed over time.
“I think he’s more comfortable with the freedom that he has,” Hardy added.
“I’m not going to put [John] in a box of like, this is your position and these are the only things you do and these are things you don’t do.”
Collins, in return, has rewarded the Jazz with a more varied skillset than he showed last season in Atlanta.
During the team’s recent four-game road trip the 26-year-old showed a knack for attacking the basket with the ball in his hands, and, he turned in a season-high four blocks in Friday’s win over the Memphis Grizzlies.
— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) November 11, 2023
Most surprising has been Collins’ efficiency as a scorer, particularly from beyond the three-point line.
The forward is the Jazz’s second-best three-point shooter at nearly 43 percent, while hoisting a healthy 3.5 attempts per game. Collins’ three-point percentage is tied with sharpshooter Simone Fontecchio, and trails only All-Star Lauri Markkanen on the team’s roster.
“We’re comfortable with him taking those shots,” Markkanen said of adjusting to his new frontcourt running mate. “We see the work he puts in every day and I think it’s been easier than I thought really.”
Collins’ 15 made threes to begin the season are the second-most of his career through his first 10 appearances, trailing only his 2019-20 campaign when he averaged a career-high 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game.
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Ben Anderson is the Utah Jazz insider for KSL Sports and the co-host of Jake and Ben from 10-12p with Jake Scott on 97.5 The KSL Sports Zone. Find Ben on Twitter at @BensHoops or on Instagram @BensHoops.
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