Houston Rockets: 4 players to watch vs. the Atlanta Hawks

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Houston Rockets John Collins (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images) /

4. John Collins

During the Houston Rockets’ first game against Atlanta, Hawks big man John Collins was unable to play as he was serving a 25-game suspension for violating the league’s anti-drug policy, which was a huge blow for the Hawks. The talented Collins is averaging 18 points per game in addition to grabbing 9.3 rebounds per game and posting 1.8 blocks per game. Unsurprisingly, Collins is the Hawks’ leading rebounder and shot-blocker, and is shooting 36.2 percent from 3-point range, which is an added bonus for the Hawks.

The 22-year-old forward has averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds over the course of his last two games against the Rockets, and posted double-doubles in each game against the Rockets. As if that weren’t enough cause for concern, he’s also shot the 3-pointer at a 50 percent clip during the same span as well, which will prove to be a challenge for Rockets forward P.J. Tucker.

During the 2019-20 season, there have been three games in which Collins has had a double-double, and the Hawks are 2-1 in those game, which is one of the more telling statistics regarding Collins’ impact on the floor. In addition, the Hawks allow 109 points per 100 possessions when Collins is on the floor, which is the best defensive rating on the team.

It’s clear that the Hawks are a much different team when Collins is on the floor, which makes him an interesting player to watch on Wednesday night.

Next: No. 3