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Zach Collins Finds Mentors in Ed Davis, Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum

James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders talks to the rookie big about the support he has from the team’s veterans.

Houston Rockets v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Zach Collins has already established a role with the Portland Trail Blazers, and having the team’s leaders supporting him is making rookie life just a bit easier. Collins is often the first big in the game along with Ed Davis, providing a nice contrast on the front line between a rangy big and a scrapper big. It’s shooting that Collins has impressed with early on despite only attempting 21 threes in his lone year at Gonzaga. James Blancarte of Basketball Insiders relays:

“Right now, I would probably say shooting the ball is probably my strength, and I’d like to get better on being able to just impact the game multiple ways on offense. In the post, driving and shooting.”

That Davis pairing has led to “a lot” of talking between the two, creating a chemistry:

“He’s been a great vet. He’s been teaching me a lot out on the court,” Collins stated. Per, when Collins and Davis share the court, the two possess a plus/minus of +1.4. When controlling for the minimum number of games played, the two have one of the highest net plus/minus for any two players on the team.

Even if he’s not sharing the floor with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as a starter, he’s still playing with them, learning how to operate with the team’s two biggest contributors. They also have a positive impact on the locker room, which Collins enjoys:

“The fact that they’re on one team, it helps us a lot with wins and they’re also great guys in the locker room. Great guys that, you know, they’re not opposed to helping young guys like me learn a lot, so they’ve been great.”

Collins is averaging 4.0 points and 3.3 rebounds while shooting 37.9 percent from the field and 31.7 percent from three on 15.2 minutes per game.

You can read the rest of Blancarte’s piece here, which includes Collins on his career goals.