NBA All-Star video: John Collins goes way above the rim to finish throwdown off a bounce pass from De'Aaron Fox
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Video: John Collins goes way above the rim to finish throwdown off a bounce pass from De’Aaron Fox in Rising Stars Game

John Collins, De'Aaron Fox

Atlanta Hawks power forward John Collins has established a reputation as one of the bounciest young stars in basketball and that was reinforced early on during the NBA Rising Stars Challenge on Friday. Collins got out in transition and found Sacramento Kings point De’Aaron Fox, who promptly delivered a perfect bounce pass that allowed Collins to get up and do the rest:

If watching Collins soar towards the stars is your cup of tea, having your eyes glued on the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on Saturday is where you’ll want to be. Atlanta’s budding star is set to show off the bounce that lives in his 21-year-old legs, all cleared up from injuries that forced him to miss the first 15 games of the year.

Collins has battled through a rebuilding season in Atlanta, but the former Wake Forest Demon Deacon is one reason Hawks fans feel optimistic about that rebuild in the first place. Entering the All-Star break, Collins is averaging 19.1 points and 9.5 rebounds across fewer than 30 minutes per game. His performance on a nightly basis has ebbed at points, but he has already had four outings with 30 points or more in 42 games.

How creative Collins will get on Saturday will likely determine his prospects for taking home the Slam Dunk crown. He’ll have stiff competition from the New York KnicksDennis Smith Jr., the Charlotte Hornets’ Miles Bridges and the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Hamidou Diallo. The constant among the four competitors is youth, but Collins enters as the tallest of the four.