The Utah Jazz saw John Collins set a Utah Jazz record already.
The Utah Jazz could’ve started the 2023-2024 season off on a much better foot. We’re pretty sure no one is going to debate that. The team’s defense is the worst in the league, and none of the young players have started off well, least of all center Walker Kessler who was on the short-list for the Defensive Player of the Year award. Not to mention Talen Horton-Tucker is getting far too many minutes a game for how little he’s actually producing on either side of the floor. Yet, aside from Lauri Markkanen who has been outstanding, there is one player making history. That player is John Collins.
Collins, according to outlets like Sports Illustrated, has done something no other Jazz player has done before; record three straight double-doubles to start his tenure with the Utah Jazz. Currently, Collins is averaging 13 points and 11 rebounds per game and has shown off an ability to score inside.
Sadly, his three-point shot is still missing the mark, hitting just 27% of his shots from beyond the arc.
And while people are celebrating his momentary record, what needs to be pointed out is that Collins has been part of the problem on defense. His Defensive Box Plus Minus so far is 5th worst on the team at -4.4. It’s clear that Collins isn’t helping the team as much as his double-double stat would imply.
His involvement with the defense is highly suspect, and it’s partially one of the reasons Kessler is off to a rough start. Collins is out of position a lot, and he has a tendency to crash down on ball-handlers when he should be more aware of the low-post, allowing for easy shots on the rim.
Part of it may be the newness of it all and learning to acclimate with his teammates, which is likely the case. He’s never been a great defender but his DBPM has always been either positive or neutral. He hasn’t been this bad. So hopefully, with time, he can return to a more confident player down low.