LAS VEGAS – Zach Collins on Sunday said he felt better about his second Summer League game, but the Trail Blazers rookie says he remains frustrated that his offensive game is sputtering.
“I thought I played a little better; just couldn’t hit a shot,’’ said Collins, who had five points on 1-for-7 shooting in the Blazers’ 70-64 loss to Boston. “It’s frustrating. I don’t feel like offensively I’m playing as well as I could be, and that ball isn’t going in right now. I just have to keep going at it.’’
In the Blazers’ first game on Saturday, Collins was 3-for-13, after which he described his play as “terrible.’’
The Blazers coaching staff is trying to temper expectations of the No. 10 overall pick – both of Collins and the fan base – by focusing on what they are saying is solid defense.
Collins, who is admittedly his harshest critic, says his defense should never waver.
“I feel like my defense is going to be there consistently, because that’s an effort thing,’’ Collins said. “That’s something I can control – the effort.’’
Offensively, Collins said he felt like he rushed shots inside and said he needs to get to the basket more often. Whether or not that is a byproduct of him feeling pressure to produce in front of his hometown, or to live up to his No. 10 draft position, Collins said it doesn’t matter.
“Regardless of where I’m drafted, I hold myself to a high standard,’’ Collins said. “Obviously, I’m not hitting shots right now, but I have to know the work I’ve put in to get to the point that the shots are eventually going to fall.’’
Jim Moran, the Blazers’ Summer League coach, said the biggest thing that will help Collins is the weight room.
“What excites us the most is his work ethic, his ability to pop and shoot 3’s and he listens, pays attention,’’ Moran said. “I’m excited once he gets around our weight staff and gets a chance to hit the weight room and bulk up he will really be able to expand his game.’’
In the meantime, Collins is learning how to deal with frustration.
“It’s hard. He’s out here and he wants to play well, miss a couple shots and things don’t go his way and it gets frustrating ,’’ Moran said. “He’s very hard on himself … that’s one thing, he has a high standard for himself, he always thinks there’s something he could do better and that’s something we like as coaches.’’