This was not the season that Trail Blazers power forward Zach Collins expected to have. Limited to just three games due to a dislocated shoulder that required surgery, Collins has spent the lion’s share of the year on the sidelines. Regardless of the obvious setbacks, the 22-year-old Nevada native has used his time away from the court to cultivate self-enriching habits.
The Athletic’s Jason Quick provided an in-depth look at Collins’ rehabilitation on Friday. In the story, Collins explained that he has picked up reading and meditation. Along with those two activities, Collins revealed that Jusuf Nurkic’s penchant for film study rubbed off on him.
He [Collins] said he is also expanding his basketball mind. Inspired by teammate Jusuf Nurkic, Collins has started expanding his study of game film.
“It sucks to kind of admit, but I never really watched a lot of film,” Collins said. “If we played a game, I would watch that film and be done. I wouldn’t watch other players … I wouldn’t do anything unless I was with Coach. But now I see it’s important and there there’s time to do it, so I’m taking advantage of it.”
As far as Collins’ return, the Blazers plan to increase his workload over the All-Star break.
“They’ve laid out a plan for me that by All-Star Break (Feb. 13-20), if everything goes according to plan, that’s when I will be able to do everything on the court — minus contact,” Collins said.
Beyond practice activities, Collins is focused on returning to action this season in hopes of impacting Portland’s postseason push.
“For sure. That’s definitely my goal,” Collins said. “We will be in the playoff race and I’ll be able to come back and make a really good push. And hopefully Nurk comes back around that time and we can all just really come together at the right time for the playoffs.”
Through three contests prior to his injury, Collins averaged nine points and four rebounds per game.
You can read Quick’s full story at The Athletic (subscription required).