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Welcome to Jason Collins day! Ever since he signed, the general feeling has been "eh, ok." Or at best, "hey, he's tall - he'll do." Well, allow me to totally and unfairly raise the expectations bar to unattainable levels!
Jason Collins is a Dwight Howard stopper!
Yeah, you read the title already, so my "no, not really" was given away. Still, I'm perhaps a hair more excited about this signing that most of you. One reason is this long forgotten article from last year that was prematurely looking forward to a first round matchup of the Magic and Hawks (which never happened).
Oddly enough, the equalizing factor in the matchup hasn’t been any of the names on the marquee, but sporadically used 7-footer Jason Collins. The Atlanta center may be an offensive liability, but he’s big enough and strong enough to allow the Hawks to play Howard one-on-one, a strategy that has been famously successful in the past for the Celtics. Howard, who went 4-of-13 from the field for 17 points amid foul trouble Wednesday, looked out of sorts thanks to Collins’ physical play. Atlanta’s perimeter defenders did their part by staying home on Orlando’s shooters. The Magic shot just 30 percent from beyond the arc and finished with 82 points, right at their season average against Atlanta, which started Collins in all four meetings and played him nearly 20 minutes a game.
"[Jason] couldn’t have played him any better," Atlanta forward Josh Smith told reporters after Atlanta’s three-point victory. "He really doesn’t get a lot of playing time … but when his number is called, he plays big and he definitely did tonight."
Said Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy: "That’s the best defense I’ve seen all year on Dwight."
With that kind of scouting report, he could score exactly zero points this year and I'd be happy to have him on the team. Just knowing that we can roll a guy like that out there to disrupt the likes of Bynum, Bogut, and yes, even Howard, makes me feel better.
Am I putting too much of my faith in a guy based on one article? Well of course I am! Didn't you read the top part of this article? Or do you skip past my analysis and just read the title and maybe sometimes the quote? No, don't answer that. I don't think my heart could take it.