Atlanta Hawks Injury Woes Continue: John Collins Sidelined with Finger and Foot Ailments

John Collins out for the Remainder of the Regular Season

The Atlanta Hawks’ power forward, John Collins, will unfortunately be sidelined for the rest of the regular season. Collins is currently dealing with plantar fasciitis in his left foot, as well as a bothersome finger-joint injury on his shooting hand.

The Hawks’ Playoff Standing and Aspirations

As of now, the Atlanta Hawks hold the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race with 10 games left in the regular season. They currently enjoy a 5.5-game lead over the 11th seeded Washington Wizards (30-41), which positions them well to qualify for the play-in tournament.

The competition in the Eastern Conference is tight, with only five games separating the 6th seed from the 10th seed. The Hawks were aiming to climb up the standings and avoid the play-in tournament altogether. Alternatively, securing a higher seed would grant them the advantage of hosting a home game in the play-in tournament.

Odds and Chances for the Hawks

According to FiveThirtyEight, the Hawks have a 39% chance of making it to the postseason. However, their likelihood of winning the NBA championship is less than 0.1%. Bookmakers in Las Vegas, such as the Mirage, currently set the Hawks at +25000 odds to win the 2022 NBA title.

Potential Play-In Tournament Matchup

If the season were to end today, the Hawks would face off against the 9th seeded Charlotte Hornets (37-35) in the play-in tournament. The winner of that contest would then battle the loser of the matchup between the 7th seeded Toronto Raptors (40-32) and the 8th seeded Brooklyn Nets (38-34).

Challenges Faced by the Hawks

Disappointment has been a prevailing theme for the Atlanta Hawks this season. After achieving the 5th seed in the 2021 NBA playoffs and making it to the Eastern Conference finals, they fell short against the Milwaukee Bucks.

During that playoff run, Trae Young emerged as a villain, relishing the boos from the crowd at Madison Square Garden during a first-round victory against the New York Knicks. However, the Hawks struggled this season to live up to expectations.

As opposing teams focused their defensive efforts on neutralizing Young, the Hawks lost their ability to fly under the radar. Furthermore, rumors of a potential trade involving John Collins added to the team’s challenges, despite ultimately keeping him on the roster.

Collins’ Season Performance

In the 54 games he played this season, Collins averaged 16.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. However, his scoring output has decreased over the past two seasons. In the 2019-20 season, he posted averages of 21.6 points and 10.1 rebounds per game, but saw a dip to 17.6 points per game last season as the offense revolved around Trae Young.

Collins’ Frustrations with Injuries

Despite his displeasure, Collins has remained committed to the team and has not sat out due to chemistry issues, as seen with players like Ben Simmons. Throughout his playing time, Collins dealt with a noticeable knuckle injury on his right ring finger, which he sustained in late February.

The Hawks initially listed the injury as a sprain, but a specialist diagnosed Collins with a boutonniere deformity. While surgery isn’t required, the injury requires anywhere from four to eight weeks to heal with a splint. Continuing to play through the injury could result in further deterioration and the need for surgery.

Additionally, Collins battled through the pain of plantar fasciitis, a condition known for its sharp shooting pain upon taking the first step. The discomfort has hindered his shooting and defensive abilities, prompting the Hawks to make the decision to rest him for the final two weeks of the regular season.

Conclusion

The absence of John Collins for the remainder of the regular season poses a challenge for the Atlanta Hawks as they seek to secure their place in the playoffs. Despite their struggles this season, the Hawks still have a decent chance of reaching the postseason and making some noise.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How long will John Collins be out with his injuries?

Collins is expected to miss the rest of the regular season due to plantar fasciitis and a finger-joint injury. The exact timeline for his recovery is uncertain, but necessary rest and treatment will be prioritized.

2. Can the Atlanta Hawks still make the playoffs without John Collins?

Yes, the Hawks have a reasonable chance of making the playoffs even without Collins. They currently hold the 10th seed in the Eastern Conference and have a 5.5-game lead over the 11th seeded Washington Wizards.

3. How has Trae Young performed this season despite increased defensive attention?

Despite teams focusing their defensive efforts on him, Trae Young has still put up impressive numbers this season. He has emerged as a leader for the Hawks and continues to make significant contributions on the offensive end.

4. Are there any other key injuries affecting the Hawks’ playoff aspirations?

While the absence of John Collins is significant, the Hawks have been relatively healthy overall. However, it’s important for the rest of the team to step up and fill the void left by Collins’ absence to maintain their playoff push.

5. What are the Hawks’ chances of winning the NBA championship?

Statistically, the Hawks have less than a 0.1% chance of winning the NBA championship this season. The odds are stacked against them, but anything can happen in the playoffs, so it’s not entirely impossible for the Hawks to make a deep run.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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