On Tuesday, the Atlanta Hawks announced that starting power forward John Collins would be unavailable for the team’s final home preseason game against the Spurs. The 2017 first round pick is currently sidelined as a result of what the team is calling left ankle soreness and, in advance of Wednesday’s contest against the San Antonio Spurs, head coach Lloyd Pierce indicated that Collins will be sidelined for the duration of the preseason.
Of course, it is important to note that Atlanta will participate in only one additional game, on Friday in Miami, but Collins’ status is uncertain moving forward. Pierce said that the team is “just trying to get (Collins) right” at this stage and he did not get into specifics with regard to the ailment itself.
In his absence, the Hawks will deploy Vince Carter as the starting power forward on Wednesday, though Pierce declined to indicate whether Atlanta would establish firm rotations in advance of the regular season opener on Oct. 17. That was also the case at the point guard spot, where Trae Young has started every preseason game to this point, and Pierce shared that the team will be experimenting, particularly as previously injured players (headlined by Dewayne Dedmon) return to action.
At this stage, Collins’ injury may not be a full-fledged concern but, with the season opener arriving in exactly one week, it does not appear to be a given that the Hawks will have their most talented big man available.