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Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion

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Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#1 » by BonesJones » Sat Sep 5, 2020 12:19 am

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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#2 » by Sinobas » Sat Sep 5, 2020 4:19 pm

I was really excited when we drafted Zach, and have been a fan of his....not sure how much stock we can put in his "bubble" performance, but his bubble performance was not impressive.

He's got one more year to show what he can do. The youth/experience excuses have expired IMO. I can see him being a good defender with a good jump shot at the 4 or 5.

His biggest problem seems to be that he has Meyers Leonarditis inside.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#3 » by BlazersRizing » Sat Sep 5, 2020 5:30 pm

he could work as a backup 5. I just dont think he plays well when theres another big on the court so thats a very big issue.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#4 » by HoopsFanAZ » Sat Sep 5, 2020 6:44 pm

Good chat. Reasonable. Health. Minutes and games starting. Hands and inside game on O. Play his role alongside Nurkic.
I understand the merits of putting Collins in a package to get that quality SF 3&D in a mega trade. I don’t get the trade him to get a different PF route or done with him, cut bait, walk away. Olshey was right on Collins — Just saying it now and not at the best time.

This is about the fire in the guy. A guy with some red@** to him. (Prz slimmed down from the put on weight and muscle craze, improved his free throws where he actually wanted the ball more than an arm’s length from the hoop, and laid the wood.) Hard hats and lunchpails. I’ve always cheered most for Blazers bigs who brought some blue collar — starting with Lucas. Buck, BG, Dudley, Prz ... Zach is next in line.

The case against Collins and/or going in a different direction is the case to make to win an argument. This is more a gut check for me.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#5 » by GEE » Sun Sep 6, 2020 1:49 am

I'll just keep on sayin' it, Collins should not log any minutes at the 5. Period. He's a prototypical stretch 4, and his getting beat up in the paint, just because he likes to fight, still isn't smart IMO.

Guys like Dame and Collins are true warriors and will often sacrifice their own bodies, with a war-like mentality. The coach needs to be conscious of this, and prevent it. At times, it is absolutely necessary to protect the player from himself. Playing guys undersized and/or out of position is the opposite of that.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#6 » by HoopsFanAZ » Sun Sep 6, 2020 4:50 am

GEE wrote:I'll just keep on sayin' it, Collins should not log any minutes at the 5. Period. He's a prototypical stretch 4, and his getting beat up in the paint, just because he likes to fight, still isn't smart IMO.

Guys like Dame and Collins are true warriors and will often sacrifice their own bodies, with a war-like mentality. The coach needs to be conscious of this, and prevent it. At times, it is absolutely necessary to protect the player from himself. Playing guys undersized and/or out of position is the opposite of that.


You have a point. He doesn’t need injuries. He needs to work on core strength and leverage. PF makes more sense early on. Guys like Pau Gasol know how to play. Collins developing at PF is better.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#7 » by Soulyss » Mon Sep 7, 2020 12:12 am

Good Video! Here are my thoughts on Collins.

Pro's:
- Athletic, can play above the rim.
- Good lateral defender, can stay with 4's, 5's easily, and does a good job when switched onto Guards.
- Reads the floor well, good defensive instincts & rotations
- A little bit of a red-ass, not afraid to mix it up.

Con's
- Doesn't understand the difference between acceptable risk and **** stupid when trying to block a shot.
- Hasn't developed the 3pt shooting the way we thought he would.
- No real post game.
- Not a great rebounder, gets pushed around too much.

I was lukewarm Zach when he was drafted (I liked John Collins better) but I understood why they made the pick. It felt a little bit like Meyer's redux by NeO... I think next year is the year we determine if he's a bust or not. He needs to stay healthy, stay on the floor and average around 10 pts 8rbs and shoot a reasonable percentage from 3pt (36% or better). If he can't do that, we need to move on.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#8 » by Wizenheimer » Mon Sep 7, 2020 12:56 am

Soulyss wrote: He needs to stay healthy, stay on the floor and average around 10 pts 8rbs and shoot a reasonable percentage from 3pt (36% or better). If he can't do that, we need to move on.


you just described Aminu in 2017-18. A rather mediocre role player. After 4 seasons, it was probably 2 seasons too long before moving on from Aminu. Essentially, Zach is 23 and has played in 174 NBA games. The 'he's young and inexperienced' excuse has just about worn out. All that's left is the "he was injured all year' excuse. Yeah, I might be wrong but I think Zach is getting real close to the what-you-see-is-what-you-get level. It's pretty rare these days for a 23 year old player to make a major leap ahead in his 4th season.

the scary thing is that Olshey can give Zach an extension this off-season, and Olshey's M.O. has been to grossly overpay 'his guys', and Zach is one of his guys
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#9 » by monopoman » Mon Sep 7, 2020 1:08 am

Well Olshey did trade one of his guys recently, Meyers Leonard was finally shipped out.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#10 » by Soulyss » Mon Sep 7, 2020 3:53 am

Wizenheimer wrote:
Soulyss wrote: He needs to stay healthy, stay on the floor and average around 10 pts 8rbs and shoot a reasonable percentage from 3pt (36% or better). If he can't do that, we need to move on.


you just described Aminu in 2017-18. A rather mediocre role player. After 4 seasons, it was probably 2 seasons too long before moving on from Aminu. Essentially, Zach is 23 and has played in 174 NBA games. The 'he's young and inexperienced' excuse has just about worn out. All that's left is the "he was injured all year' excuse. Yeah, I might be wrong but I think Zach is getting real close to the what-you-see-is-what-you-get level. It's pretty rare these days for a 23 year old player to make a major leap ahead in his 4th season.

the scary thing is that Olshey can give Zach an extension this off-season, and Olshey's M.O. has been to grossly overpay 'his guys', and Zach is one of his guys


It wasn't an accident :)

Aminu was too streaky ultimately which was the real issue with his fit which needed a better shooting SF than Harkless to balance out his streaky shot.

If you haven't read this article, it's a good one that talks about the Dame / CJ conundrum.

https://www.blazersedge.com/2020/9/5/21422216/trail-blazers-damian-lillard-title-window-supporting-cast-nba-offseason-cj-mccollum

You can win with a Dame, CJ, Nurk core... but you need to be much better fitting pieces around them because Dame isn't Lebron or Kawhi so you have to be more precise in the roster building... and this is where Olshey has really struggled. Aminu could have been one of the "right pieces" but not with Harkless & The Legend included.

Your primary guard rotation of Dame, CJ, and Trent is set... it's token minutes after that. Your Center Position is set with the Nurk / Collins (he should be fine playing 10-12 minutes of C, 10-12 minutes of PF). What you need is a Starting PF, and a pair of 3-D SF's... MAYBE Hood comes back to be one of those guys...

We should judge Olshey on his ability to get a starting calibur PF/SF this off-season... At least one (if not both) need to shoot in the 36%+ range on 3pt and be a net positive on defense.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#11 » by Wizenheimer » Mon Sep 7, 2020 4:12 pm

Soulyss wrote:You can win with a Dame, CJ, Nurk core... but you need to be much better fitting pieces around them because Dame isn't Lebron or Kawhi so you have to be more precise in the roster building... and this is where Olshey has really struggled.


I don't agree. Sure, that core can win a lot of regular season games. And, every once in a while, they can win a playoff series against a flawed, or injured, or inexperienced, or weaker opponent. But that core will only be a pretender and never a contender IMO. That's why in the Dame era, when Portland has faced a real contender (or the Pelicans) in the playoffs the Blazers are 4-28. They win 1 out of every 7 games; yuck.

And that core was healthy just 2 years ago when they were swept by the Pelicans. if that core could be a true contender, things like that wouldn't happen. Lebron & AD wouldn't get swept by a 6th seed; neither would Kawhi & PG13. But those are two examples of real contenders. There are others like Harden & Westbrook or Tatum and Brown or Butler and Robinson. The problem is the Blazer 3 man core is flawed. Look around the NBA at the elite teams and then look at teams that win championships. Those teams have a couple of things in common: they are filled with 2-way players on the perimeter, and they have elite 2-way ball-handling talent on the wings. The NBA is strongest at the wings, those 6'6 to 6'10 players who can do everything on offense and defend 4 positions on the other end

and that's where Portland has been weakest since Batum & Matthews left and Olshey sold the farm on CJ. Nurkic is a good player still possessing some upside. But elite bigs haven't really been part of a championship formula since a younger Duncan and Shaq. And even then it was elite wing talent in partnership with those two HOF C's. I mean, Nurk was healthy against the Pelicans and healthy against the Lakers. So was CJ; and so was Dame except for the last game. Yet, Portland's record in those two series was 1-8. But the Blazers made it to the WCF last year without Nurkic. Of course, as I mentioned they faced a flawed opponent (OKC) and an inexperienced opponent (Denver) to get there. Then they got swept by a contender

If Dame/CJ/Nurk was a championship core it wouldn't matter who the supporting players were. That core would be competitive against elite teams....but they aren't

Soulyss wrote:Aminu could have been one of the "right pieces" but not with Harkless & The Legend included.

Your primary guard rotation of Dame, CJ, and Trent is set... it's token minutes after that. Your Center Position is set with the Nurk / Collins (he should be fine playing 10-12 minutes of C, 10-12 minutes of PF). What you need is a Starting PF, and a pair of 3-D SF's... MAYBE Hood comes back to be one of those guys...

We should judge Olshey on his ability to get a starting calibur PF/SF this off-season... At least one (if not both) need to shoot in the 36%+ range on 3pt and be a net positive on defense.


I've already judged Olshey. He's assistant GM material at best. He's had 8 years to build a contender and has failed. He's been collecting hi million dollar salaries while Dame's prime burns away

and what you're suggesting needs to happen is what Olshey has done every friggin off-season. That being simply messing around with the lower levels of the rotation in hopes there will be some magic bullet that will alter the team's trajectory. That hasn't happened for 8 seasons, and it won't happen for the next 8 as long as Olshey is GM. The problem isn't with the role-players like Aninu, Harkless, Hood, and Melo. The problem is with the core; it's at the top of the rotation. CJ and Nurkic aren't good enough to fully share the burden with Dame. They never will be either. And now, with Dame's super-max deal and CJ's max deal hogging 60-65% of the salary cap, there's no room to bring in another elite talent on the wing

yeah, I'm cynical about Portland's future right now. They just got crushed by the damn Lakers, and just to get that opportunity, they had to grind Dame into the floor when he averaged 42 minutes a game in the bubble. Then he suffered a pretty obvious fatigue injury. Thank god it wasn't worse, but screw management and coaches for creating that situation.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#12 » by d-train » Mon Sep 7, 2020 8:39 pm

The biggest flaw of the Lillard, CJ, and Nurkic core is that it's a 3-man core instead of a 2-man core. Why is it a 3-man core? It's a 3-man core because our number 1 option is not that good. It's not as good a #1 option as you need to build a contender. There are lousy teams that have a better 1st option than the Blazers have. I don't say this to be critical. I give Lillard, Stotts, and Olshey a lot of credit for how well the Blazers have done given our top end talent.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#13 » by d-train » Mon Sep 7, 2020 8:44 pm

Zach has already proven he has all the skills we need him to have. We need him to be healthy and to contribute that skill in games played. The stat fools will never be happy with Zach. Zach will never have great stats.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#14 » by kumquat » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:54 am

d-train wrote:Zach has already proven he has all the skills we need him to have. We need him to be healthy and to contribute that skill in games played. The stat fools will never be happy with Zach. Zach will never have great stats.




It's not just that the stats that aren't there, I don't think he passes the eye test either. He's too weak to defend or bang in the paint and doesn't have a nose for the ball to rebound or the touch around the rim to score. I think a guy like Skal was a more effective player.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#15 » by DaVoiceMaster » Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:06 pm

I've been pretty vocal about my distaste for Collins for some time now. Yes, he's had his moments and come up big in the past, but those moments are too far and few between. If he's better as a backup PF/C, then that's fine, but let's stop pretending he's something more than that. He's just not that good. I can probably live with him as a backup big, but would not hesitate to toss him into a package for a better player if necessary.

CJ is another story. I'm torn with him. He has his moments, as well and has more of them which makes me like him, but he drifts off enough to make me dislike him at times. I like more than I dislike, but I'm not sure my like for him is enough to keep him on the team. The problem is, I don't believe the rest of the league views him as a good player; certainly not $28 million good. Olshey probably priced CJ out of the trade market, unless the Blazers take back something even worse. Tobias Harris might be a fairly equal swap in terms of talent, but his contract is even larger than CJ's. I don't think CJ brings back a better player and there lies the problem. CJ and Collins don't bring back the kind of player the Blazers need going forward.

Don't even get me started on Simons. I've been against that guy all year. Olshey hyped him up big before the start of the season and the kid layed an egg. Trent Jr emerged as the shining star and he got no hype before the season started. I know these guys know a heck of a lot more about basketball talent than I do and maybe I'm not the most patient guy, but I'm tired of waiting. Lillard is at his peak and soon to be on the downward side of his prime. We cannot wait any longer.

I keep Lillard and Nurkic and everyone else on the roster is expendable. Find that 3rd player (not sure who that is at this point) and then fill the roster around them. I know Portland is not a hotbed for free agents, but if you have a solid core, I think the players will come. The Blazers have the MLE available to them, as well to find the #4 piece to the puzzle. I still think they should make a run at Jae Crowder from Miami or Justin Holiday from Indiana as the #4 piece. Crowder can play either forward position and Holiday can play either wing position. I'd also like to see them go after Nesmith in the draft if they keep their pick and/or move up in the draft.

Alternate route... salary dump to get out of CJ's contract. Would Portland be better off making a deal, something like CJ and Nurkic to Boston for Hayward and Smart? Hayward would be an expiring $34 million contract and Smart would have one extra year at $14 million. Portland would simply have Lillard, Smart, and Andrew Nicholson's last year of $2.8 million against the cap. They'd have to make decisions on Collins, Simons, Little, Hood, and Trent Jr.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#16 » by Blazers20 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 5:19 pm

I really like Markannen and Aaron Gordon and I think they could be had without moving Dame-CJ-Nurkic. I just think Olshey would need to trade multiple trades to get both of them. I think Ariza-Hood-Simons-Pick(s) for Gordon. I also think Collins-Little-Pick(s) for Lauri would work as well. The draft picks have to be used to improve the team through trades as Olshey has struck out so many times in the draft.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#17 » by BlazersBroncos » Tue Sep 15, 2020 8:33 pm

I really like Markannen and Aaron Gordon and I think they could be had without moving Dame-CJ-Nurkic. I just think Olshey would need to trade multiple trades to get both of them. I think Ariza-Hood-Simons-Pick(s) for Gordon. I also think Collins-Little-Pick(s) for Lauri would work as well. The draft picks have to be used to improve the team through trades as Olshey has struck out so many times in the draft.


I would love to add both those guys. Gordon cant shoot well, but with a floor spacer like Lauri at PF the floor opens up a ton.

Simons, Little, 16 for Lauri, 44
Ariza, Collins for AG
TPE, 46 for Kanter, 30
Sign a vet min backup PG

G - Damian Lillard / Vet Min PG / Payton Pritchard (UDFA)
G - CJ McCollum / Gary Trent Jr / Sam Merrill (UDFA)
F - Aaron Gordon / Rodney Hood / Tyler Bey (30)
F - Lauri Markannen / Carmelo Anthony / Weynen Gabriel
C - Nusuf Nurkic / Enes Kanter / Killian Tillie (44)

Then you shift Lauri to C during the playoffs once Kanter is unplayable while moving Aaron to more time at PF and Hood gets the lions share of SF minutes.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#18 » by JasonStern » Wed Sep 16, 2020 5:55 pm

Wizenheimer wrote:Lebron & AD wouldn't get swept by a 6th seed; neither would Kawhi & PG13.


true, but Kawhi & Playoff P would get beat by a team that won 2 more regular season games than the 6th seed. :lol:

winning a championship is real hard.

I can see Dame being the #1 on a championship team. the year AI made the finals proved that you can win building around a high-usage point guard - it's just far, far more difficult than other approaches.

I can see Nurkić and McCollum being key contributors on a championship team. they're both arguably top 5 players at their position.

but I definitely can't see Nurkić and McCollum being the 2nd and 3rd best players on a championship team. and given McCollum's extension, that's exactly what would have to happen.

and I also completely agree with the narrative that Portland is tough to play during the regular season, where it's a one-off game. but the playoffs are a different beast. when you play the same team over and over, you can key in on what works and what doesn't. and Portland hasn't seemed to be that dynamic offensively to make major adjustments when something like a Jrue/Rondo front court shuts Dame down. and Portland's defense has been questionable-to-horrific enough that this type of basketball won't fly once you're in the playoffs playing the league's best teams every night.
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#19 » by Wizenheimer » Wed Sep 16, 2020 7:58 pm

JasonStern wrote:I can see Nurkić and McCollum being key contributors on a championship team. they're both arguably top 5 players at their position.


Nurkic...sure, he could be top-5, although, he just as easily could be lower. He has to improve a bunch in operating around the rim offensively. Jokic, Embiid, AD, Adebayo, Sabonis, Gobert, Vucevic, Drummond, Porzingis....that's 10 other C's right there. Nurk would have competition

*******************************************************

CJ?....not a chance. Yeah, he's pretty much exclusively a SG, but that's his weakness because in the modern NBA, SG's and SF's have simply morphed into thoroughly interchangeable wings, and no way in hell is CJ a SF

Harden, Beal, Devin Booker, Luca Doncic, Jaylen Brown, Jimmy Butler, Donovan Mitchell, Jrue Holiday, Khris Middleton, Caris Lavert. There are 10 guys right there that play mostly SG, like CJ, and at least 9 of them are better. Then there are SF's that occasionally move to the back court like Brandon Ingram, Jaysun Tatum, Demar Derozan. And of course the guys listed as PG's that are as much SG's as PG's like Jamal Murray, Ben Simmons, Zach Lavine, Fred Van Vleet, Malcolm Brogdon, and Collin Sexton

if CJ was a top-5 guard (include both PG's and SG's) or a top-5 wing, then Portland would have something good going on. But CJ isn't top-5 in either category. He very well may not even squeeze into the top-20 when you start counting the rising stars of the NBA, and he wouldn't for sure if you factor defense, and you should

but that's been the problem: Blazer nation, including the GM's office, have been giving CJ a massive benefit of the doubt for several years. If CJ was as good as some Blazer fans believe, Portland would be a contender. But they aren't close
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Re: Zach Collins - An In-Depth Discussion 

Post#20 » by HoopsFanAZ » Sun Sep 27, 2020 8:40 pm

1. CJ is a really good player on O and (by all reports) as a teammate. Not an all star.
2. The combination of Lillard and CJ, together with the other players, has not been enough to include the team on a list of contenders.
3. This is unlikely to change, though a healthy team of the current players has not played together.
4. CJ — how he’s been used, or chosen to play, or in the mix of players — would better fit elsewhere. It’s not a given, but it’s a given for me that strengthening at SF or PF (or a more D oriented bigger SG) MAY get the team into contention.
5. Collins and GTJ have shown more game on the court than Little and Simons. Keep ZC and GTJ.
6. Collins isn’t the issue. He fits with Nurkic.

There are teams who need a change — just like the Blazers. Philadelphia, Milwaukee and Phoenix just to start. It’s going to cost. So what. Get the team into contention. Get ‘er done, NeO.

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