Hawks’ John Collins reacts to early exit vs. Celtics with sore back
The 22-year-old third-year player exited the game in the third quarter and did not return as his team dropped a close one to the Celtics, 109-106, at the TD Garden.
Per Tim Bontemps of ESPN, Collins admitted to still feeling pain on his back, but he claimed it’s not as serious as initially expected. He was playing well prior to the mid-air collision with Jayson Tatum, tallying 16 points and eight rebounds in 22 minutes.
Talked to John Collins after the game. He said his back is sore, but is feeling ok. Hawks are confident he won’t have a lengthy absence because of his fall, but there was understandable frustration about once again having someone go out of the lineup.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 4, 2020
The Hawks, meanwhile, have all the reasons to be frustrated after piling losses after losses in their first 35 games of the season.
The team snapped a 10-game drought last Wednesday against the Orlando Magic, but they reverted back to their losing ways against a tough Celtics team on Friday. Trae Young had a chance to win the game for the Hawks down the stretch, only to see his 3-pointer get rejected by Daniel Theis.
Atlanta has now dropped to the bottom of the NBA standings with a 7-28 slate.
Still, the Hawks are quite lucky that John Collins’ fall was not as bad as initially seemed given the current state of their roster. Young and Kevin Huerter have both missed some time due to injuries of their own, while Collins played in just his 10th game of the season after a 25-game suspension for violating the NBA’s drug policy.
Jabari Parker did well in his stead, but he also just recently returned to the Hawks’ line-up after dealing with injuries as well.