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The Ryan Hollins Reclamation Project

 

Ryan Hollins is 27 years old and he’s terrible.

It’s possible you haven’t noticed this because 1) he is long and athletic and 2) you’re probably not in the habit of paying attention to fringe ex-Cavalier projects unless they’re named Jiri Welsch.

Some amusing highlights from John Hollinger’s scouting report:

One of the world’s greatest mysteries is how Hollins can suck so badly at rebounding. He is 7 feet tall, 240 pounds and can jump out of the gym. It seems inconceivable that he would be a below-average rebounder, much less this shockingly below average. Yet last year he was outrebounded by every frontcourt player in the league except for Andrea Bargnani and Brian Cardinal.

He committed a foul every 5.94 minutes, one of the league’s highest rates, and struggled to battle big centers both in the post and on the glass.

Offensively, he has no skills except a knack for making short runners…

Loses Cool Easily.

To be fair, it’s worth pointing out that amongst the comical deconstructions of his game, Hollinger does note that Hollins is an able pick-and-roll defender. The Celtics, picking from the detritus unclaimed by contending teams, are probably just hoping he can do the minimum: clog up the lane on defense and rotate well enough in short minutes to avoid defensive breakdowns. His Synergy defensive numbers are largely inconclusive this season because he hasn’t been used enough to make it beyond small samples.

The interesting thing about Hollins is that his ability to run the floor and finish should get him legitimate scoring opportunities if he gets any run with the Celtics’ best five players. He’s almost perfectly suited to having his value artificially enhanced playing with Rajon Rondo.

This is obviously true in transition where all he really has to do is run, catch and stuff but it may also be true in the halfcourt. As Avery Bradley has proven over the last couple of months, playing with the Big Four will give you lanes and seams and shots to make plays and Hollins could benefit from the same kind of openings (conservatively speaking, Bradley’s potential is about a hundred times that of Hollins, but it’s the same principle).

It’s likely that Hollins will be cast adrift by the Celtics after this season; his rebounding is too awful to tolerate over the long term. But if he doesn’t have to regularly guard guys on the low block, he has the potential to hold his own in the Celtics’ whole-is-greater defensive system. And just maybe, as he’s streaking up the middle of the floor, he gives us another glimpse of what a Rondo-centered offense would look like with the appropriate athletic parts.

  • The Cardinal

    What I found sorta cool last night against the Bobcats was that Doc played Hollins as a power forward beside Steimsma for a brief stretch, and defensively it seemed to work fairly well. Place 'em with Rondo and Bradley along with Pierce or Pietrus, and I can envision a high energy, disruptive defensive unit that is capable of scoring inside. I would love to see this combo get a little floor time toward the en middle of the 1st and 3rd quarters.

  • BrooklynCavalier

    To explore the depths of torment Ryan Hollins inflicts on his team's vigilant fans, please I offer you this research. http://www.cavstheblog.com/?p=8998

    • noche

      This makes me want Ryan Hollins to never see floor time. Ever. I will from here on out thumbs down anyone who writes anything positive about Ryan Hollins' potential. I think one thing we need to remember about Ryan Hollins is that he was CUT BY THE CAVS who are 17-29. You would think if his upside as a young athletic big outweighed the downside he would thrive on a young athletic team like Cleveland. But instead he was cut. By the Cavs. Who would be 5-41 if they didn't have Kyrie Irving.

      • Gene

        AGREED!!,,, Check out these atrocious numbers from the Cavs and the past few games for the C's. http://www.nba.com/playerfile/ryan_hollins/ I had never heard of him till the Celts put him in and after only a few minutes, turned to my wife and said, "What the hell did Ainge see in THIS dud?". I didn't need to actually see his numbers, but they confirmed my oppinion. This guy is a seven foot WAITER, or ice cream man, or ceiling washer. Project? They said that about Stoiko Vrankavic (sp?). Hollis and Stoiko should look into buying a Dairy Queen, cause even I can get one rebound per game and this dude has me by a foot and a half.

  • High Rollers

    For the title alone this post deserves a thumbs up.

  • W2.

    I live in a green world where Ryan Hollins gets better and is worth bringing back next year.

    • The Cardinal

      I'm with you on this. If JaVale McGee could mature into a top 1/3 center in today's center-deficient NBA despite the "knucklehead" tag that continues to follow him around, it is definitely worth the effort to see if Hollins – with the opportunity to be around 3 future HOF'ers and a team that is playoff bound – can develop into a serviceable center. Sometimes it takes awhile for something to "click" with athletic bigs, and it's not like there's a whole lot of bigs who are finished products in the league. With his athleticism, ya gotta take a chance because Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, or a healthy Andrew Bogut are not walking through that door, and on any given night, every other starting and back-up center in the league is only some degree of better or worse than any other center.

      Remember during the first month of the season when there was constant fan noise about Avery Bradley not being NBA-ready, and that Doc should play E'twann Moore and Avery should be sent to the D-league? Well look at the transformation the kid has undergone because of the patience of the coaching staff and his teammates. Sure, he's a long way yet from an all-star quality player, but he is definitely an NBA-ready player who can contribute on a fairly reasonable basis.

  • CelticsBIG3

    He's not great but at least he's another 7 footer

    • CelticsBIG3

      And KG has been a good influence on guys who have typically been kinda weak in the past

      • felix

        yeah he's a 7 footer who missed an easy 2 right under the basket against the bobcats!!

        • The Cardinal

          Yeah, like that never happens to anyone else on the team, and around the league. Every player blows a layup or dunk every now or then, so unless his overall closing rate is seriously bad compared to others (which it's not – it's actually in the upper percentages of players), so what?

          I get that the guy may not be the second coming of Robert Parrish, but geez….who would you guys have signed from the players actually available who were both healthy and willing to play for the C's? No offense, but I just don't get the griping and snide remarks from a buncha posters here – it's not like the C's had the opportunity to sign Dwight Howard and chose not to do so, and whether Hollins turns out to be a nice surprise or not, the team needed a healthy big who could at least get up and down the floor.

          I

          • noche

            My post was more in response to what happens continuously around this time of year right after the C's pick up random waved big man X. Everyone gets excited we have a new 7 footer but fails to actually look at who the person is. Ryan Hollins is not a good basketball player. He has a short fuse, can't rebound, and is generally not a good offensive player. If he can't produce on the Cavs, where he should have gotten a ton of touches, we shouldn't expect him to do anything but be on the court and make bad decisions in limited minutes.

            If Ryan Hollins flourishes on this C's team and becomes a major contributor I will gladly apologize for saying he sucks.

          • felix

            because as a 7 footer that close to the basket you dunk it……

  • tfm

    I hate it when bloggers and sport reporters use words like "terrible" and "suck" while they sit behind their dell and eat Cheetos. I will take KG's and P2 word over yours and Holingers. If he does turn into a serviceable starting center, Tyson Chandler esque numbers will you guys back off your comments?probably not.

  • Gene

    I would agree with all of the supporters of Hollins if he were a 7 foot rookie maybe even his first couple years in the NBA…. Give him a shot. But this guy has been around for 5 YEARS! If you think about it, and you give him a couple more years to develop, he might be "serviceable" a year or two after retirement age. You guys do know that he has high jumped 6 foot 10 inches? I know that is not straight up, but that would still put his head above the top of the backboard, easily. So why 2 rebounds a game? I also know that there aren't many guys that tall available, so maybe you take a chance, but I don't think using "terrible" and "suck" to describe Hollins are that out of line here…… Even if we are all just fans (paying to watch him, by the way)

  • dude

    tfm –

    I'm a Cavs fan and I can tell you, flat out, this guy cannot play basketball. For two years I've watched him receiver a pass inside only to drop it out of bounds, miss and easy dunk because he couldn't slam it home, or get blocked. He's awful. And he's no spring chick – he's not going to get much better.

  • Nathan

    I remember watching a celts cabs game a few years ago and being thoroughly Annoyed by Hollins, which means he was playing well. The guy does have potential and if there is a team that can bring it out I think it’s our celtics
    Let’s go for title 18- just believe

  • Dan

    Another Cavs fan here, you guys are in for a treat. I have never seen a weaker 7 footer play. We, as Cavs fans, have seen this guy get his own shot blocked by the rim multiple times! No joke. HE has good energy and seems to try awfully hard. He is OK in transition and made MOST (not all) of his alley-oop attempts from Irving. Every so often, he will have a game that makes you think he may be decent in the future. Then, you realize that you'd be better off with a 40-year old Vitaly Potapenko. Someone that you C's fans *maybe* remember if you're not 18 years old.

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