Tag: JOHN COLLINS
Hawks extend Young, re-sign Collins, Williams
The Atlanta Hawks have signed point guard Trae Young to a max contract extension, which begins with the 2022-23 season, re-signed F John Collins and G Lou Williams, the team announced on Friday.
According to reports, Young signed a five-year, $172 million rookie max contract extension. Collins reportedly signed a five-year deal worth $125 million, and Williams signed a reported one-year deal worth $5 million.
Most recently, Young, 22, helped lead the Hawks to the Eastern Conference Finals for the second time in Atlanta franchise history, averaging 28.8 points and 9.5 assists per game during the team’s run. The three-year veteran became the first player in NBA history to post at least 20 points and seven-or-more assists in each of his first 13 career playoff games.
In 63 starts last season, Collins, 23, averaged 17.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1.0 blocks in 29.3 minutes. The four-year veteran finished 18th in the NBA in FG%, tied for 23rd in rpg and 26th in bpg.
During the Hawks’ recent run to the Eastern Conference Finals, Collins put in 13.9 points and 8.7 rebounds.
In 66 games last season (24 with the Hawks and 42 with the Clippers), the 34-year-old Williams averaged 11.3 points, 3.4 assists, and 2.1 rebounds in 21.6 minutes. The 16-year veteran is a three-time winner of the NBA’s Sixth Man Award (2015, 2018, 2019, tied with Jamal Crawford for the most in league history).
The Hawks have a nice young core, and Young, who had a tremendous playoff run, is turning into one of the best point guards in basketball. Collins is young, athletic, and continues to grow his game. Hopefully, he continues to grow after getting paid. Williams is not a walking bucket any longer, but he can still score.
Atlanta might be better next season, but it might not be good enough. Even though they beat Philadelphia in the playoffs, I think 76ers, Bucks, and Nets are still better for now, but the Hawks are still a franchise that is trending upwards.
Hawks’ McMillan: ‘What I respect about Trae(Young), he’s going to always stay aggressive’
Trae Young has taken full advantage of his first playoff experience, and if you did not think he was a star before the playoffs, your mind has probably been changed.
Young had a playoff career-high 48 points, to go along with 11 assists, and seven rebounds as the Hawks defeated the Bucks 116-113 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals at Fiserv Forum on Wednesday night.
Game 2 is on Friday night in Milwaukee.
According to StatMuse, the 22-year-old Young is only player with at least 45 points and 10 assists in a conference finals game, and his 48 points is the most points in a conference finals’ debut. In addition, Young’s 48 points tied LeBron James for the most points by a player age 22 or younger in a Conference or Division finals game, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
Young scored or assisted on 72 of Atlanta’s 116 points, and according to Elias Sports, that is the most in a Conference or Division Finals game all-time.
“What I respect about Trae, he’s going to always stay aggressive,” Hawks head coach Nate McMillan said. “He continued to stay aggressive and take his shots, and tonight those shots were falling for him. I thought he did a good job of, again, reading the defense and getting the ball and putting the ball in the hands of guys who had their matchups.”
Young added: “I’ve seen pretty much every defense. It’s really just figuring out what type of defense they’re showing that night. So I’m not surprised. For me, it’s just trying to make the right read and figure out how they’re going to guard. They guard a certain way and just trying to make plays and attack that way.”
For the third straight series, Atlanta won Game 1 on the road, and according to ESPN Stats & Info, the Hawks are the first team to win Game 1 on the road in three series within a postseason since the 1998-99 Knicks (excluding the bubble last season). In addition, Atlanta is 6-2 on the road in these playoffs.
“We didn’t get a high seed, so we’ve got to try to steal one on the road,” Young said. “Game 1 is definitely a game that you can really surprise that team. I think with the way we’ve been playing coming out of the gate; you can just tell we’re really focused on our attention to details when it comes to the other team.”
John Collins, who had 23 points and 15 rebounds in Game 1, added on team’s success on the road: ‘I feel like it definitely puts some respect on our name for sure. Going into hostile environments and coming out with victories in Game 1 is definitely something to be proud of. I feel like it’s prepared us for moments like this right now.”
The Hawks and Young are for real, and now after stealing Game 1 against the Bucks, Atlanta got the split that they needed, and Young’s stature in the league continues to grow.
-Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists on Wednesday night, and Jrue Holiday added 33 points and 10 assists.
-Collins and Young had the highlight of the game when Young threw a lob pass off the glass to Collins, who finished it with a dunk in the third quarter. Young discussed the play after the game.
“Yeah, like we said in the locker room, he(Collins) knew it was coming,” Young said. “He knew the difference between one of my floaters and one of my passes off the backboard. That’s just the connection we have, the type of chemistry we have. So it’s fun playing with him.”
Watch play below:
ALL ANGLES of Trae Young's WILD alley-oop off the glass to John Collins! 🤯— NBA (@NBA) June 24, 2021
Trae has an #NBAPlayoffs career-high 42 PTS… 3:26 left in the 4th quarter of Game 1 on TNT pic.twitter.com/xeF1yLEEXI
Hawks’ Collins wins Sekou Smith Award
The Atlanta Hawks tonight announced forward/center John Collins as the recipient of the inaugural Sekou Smith Award, which annually honors the player on the team’s roster who best represents themselves and the franchise with professionalism and integrity in their interactions with the media.
Several members of Smith’s family were in attendance at tonight’s game to take part in a pregame presentation. Collins was selected via a vote from a select local media panel.
Sadly, Smith passed away in January due to COVID-19. He was 48.
In addition to the award, the Hawks will name the media workroom at State Farm Arena after Smith, redesigning the space to honor his memory. The Sekou Smith Press Room will formally open to media for the 2021-22 NBA season.
The team will also launch an annual Hawks-NBA Summer League internship in Smith’s name. Each summer, a journalism or multi-media student from a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) school will be selected to serve as the Hawks’ beat writer for NBA Summer League, and their work will appear on the team’s digital team properties, providing valuable experience and clips. In addition to covering associated travel costs, the Hawks will provide a stipend to the intern. The SWAC is comprised of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) including Jackson State University, Smith’s alma mater.
Smith served as the AJC’s Hawks beat writer from 2005-09 before joining NBA Digital as a multimedia reporter and analyst. He also spent time at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, MS and the Indianapolis Star, where he covered the Indiana Pacers as the team’s beat writer.
Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham/Hawks