Celtics See Potential, But Have Concerns About New Center Ryan Hollins

The Boston Celtics signed former Cleveland Cavaliers center Ryan Hollins to a contract for the balance of the campaign according to a report from the “Boston Herald” on Friday; a player that the team believes has a lot of potential, however he has yet capitalize on his athleticism during his six years playing in the Association. To make room for the big man on the roster, the Celtics waived Chris Wilcox, who is out for the rest of the season as he is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair a faulty aorta later this month. Boston head coach Doc Rivers has told reporters that Hollins will be in uniform when the Celtics travel to Philadelphia for an important game Friday night against the Sixers, but he is not sure whether his newest player will see any time on the court.

Hollins was released by the Cavaliers earlier this week, after rookie forward Tristan Thompson racked up a double-double including 27 points in his second  NBA start. The center had failed to impress the club’s management during his second year on the squad as he played in just 24 contests with seven starts and averaged a lackluster 3.7 poins and 2.3 rebounds per game.

The big man has bounced around the Association since being drafted by the Charlotte Bobcats late in the second round of the 2006 NBA Draft. Besides playing for Cleveland and the B-Cats, Hollins has also had stints with the Dallas Mavericks and the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has played in just 299 games during his six seasons and has career averages of 4.2  points and 2.3 rebounds per game.

Boston All-Star forward Paul Pierce believes that his new teammate has a huge upside; but he questions what kept him from being more successful during his time with the Cavaliers. Pierce told reporters “I saw a lot of potential. He works hard, and he’s got a lot of lift. You just wonder why he didn’t get an opportunity out there; especially on a team that’s struggling.”

Rivers acknowledged the talents his new center possesses, but he told reporters that he will try to convert the big man into more of a glass cleaner. The Boston bench boss said “He’s an athletic big. He can run the floor. He’s a shot-blocker from the weak side. I think he does defend well in the schemes that we run, and I think he can show and get back in coverage. He has not rebounded, and that’s something we need him to do. So we’ll really stress rebounding with him. But he’s just another body that we needed, so we’ll take it.”

The Celtics head into Philadelphia trailing the Sixers by a half game for the Atlantic Division lead. Boston will be looking for their third straight win while Philadelphia will try to avert their second loss in a row.

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