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Zags in Summer League: Zach Collins plays through a broken nose

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Collins hopes to build on his freshman campaign, while Johnathan Williams makes his Vegas debut with the Lakers.

2017 Las Vegas Summer League - Portland Trail Blazers v Boston Celtics Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Zach Collins is back in his hometown for his second stint at the NBA Summer League as he gears up for a second season with the Portland Trail Blazers. The Las Vegas native took the floor with a facemask after he suffered a broken nose in practice on Tuesday, which likely bothered him as he shot only 2-12 from the field and finished with 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 blocks. I wouldn’t be too concerned about those numbers, however, as Collins showed he can play in the league last year and is likely just uncomfortable playing with the facemask.

The broken nose did not stop Collins from opening the game with an excellent defense-to-offense sequence that served as a fine welcome to the NBA moment for former Duke heel, Grayson Allen.

It was a satisfying moment, to say the least, especially since it was Collins who delivered it.

After a rookie campaign that saw him carve out a role for himself as a floor spacing big, look for the Blazers to make it a point of emphasis to utilize Collins as a back-to-the basket interior player more frequently than they did last year. For his part, Collins is thrilled about returning to that style of play, and has packed on 20 pounds of muscle over the last year which will help him shed the “Big Skinny” label his teammates bestowed upon him.

Johnathan Williams, who just completed a quick string of games in Sacramento with the Los Angeles Lakers, also made his Vegas Summer League debut on Saturday night and started the game against the Philadelphia 76ers. Williams did not log a single shot attempt in 16 minutes of action after struggling from the field in his last game, and closed the night with 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a block along with 6 fouls.