A lot of the focus this offseason was on Zach Collins and how he would do with an increased responsibility in the wake of Ed Davis’ departure to the Brooklyn Nets. The sophomore big man has several games under his belt at this point, so it begs the question: how’s he done in the first couple weeks?
Straight out of the gate I think Collins has done an excellent job filling the sizeable shoes left by Davis. Collins learned a lot from Davis last year, but any time you give more minutes to a guy who produced in a limited role there’s always the worry that he might not have what it takes with a heavier load.
That’s not been the case.
The first thing that’s stuck out to me about Collins is, of course, his defense. My dude has been an absolute beast. Collins recorded six blocks in the first game against the Lakers alone, and he looks like the defensive anchor Portland projected him to be last year.
Collins has also shown confidence on offense, either in making the extra pass or crashing the offensive glass, or simply moving to space. His defensive acumen was apparent during his rookie season, but if Collins can add a feel for the game on offense that’s not just shooting it’ll help Portland immensely.
If I did have an early criticism, and this is going to sound like such a “Your Dad” thing to say, it’s that Collins does leave his feet to much on defense, especially on jump-shooters. It has to drive the coaches crazy and it’s something young guys who are good at blocking shots do that’s just not necessary.
I think Zach will iron those things out over the course of the season, and the big question will be how he respond to adversity when teams gather more film on him as he plays with Portland's top rotations this season. You’re always worried about a sophomore slump, but he's been so good already Collins is well on his way to putting that concern bed.
Watch the full video above to get the film analysis on Collins’ game this season.