Hawks’ John Collins might be most productive rookie so far

(Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Obviously, there can be no real conclusions about NBA rookies this early in the season. Any statistical evaluations or comparisons come with the usual disclaimer about small sample sizes. Much, much more evidence is needed.

Still . . .

Hawks rookie John Collins has been very efficient and productive over four games played. Collins impacted the game almost immediately when he checked in for the first time at Dallas and he really hasn’t stopped.

“Amazing,” Dennis Schroder said post-game in Dallas. “I thought he needed a little time but he was right there from the start.”

Before Tuesday night’s games, there were 19 rookies who had averaged 10 minutes or more in at least three games played. (Update: After Tuesday night’s games there are now 24 such rookies.) Here’s where Collins ranks in several statistical categories among those players, according to Basketball-Reference.

JOHN COLLINS (rankings in parentheses)

Collins has produced across the board but probably has made his biggest impact with rebounding. There’s a huge gap in that category from Collins to Ben Simmons, who was second in total rebounding percentage (15.5) and rebounds per 36 minutes ( 11.1). Collins also ranked ahead of Simmons in rookie PER as of Tuesday, but Simmons played 139 minutes vs. 77 for Collins. Those two stand out above the other rookies so far, at least in terms of production.

Again, it’s much too early to say what kind of player Collins can be. He is barely 20 years old and just started his NBA career.  There also have been some rough moments. But Collins was very good in those 77 minutes and the productive start to his NBA career is a real bright spot for the Hawks amid their 1-3 start.

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