Celtics working to add free-agent Hollins

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Celtics working to add free-agent Hollins

MILWAUKEE Barring an unexpected contract snafu, Ryan Hollins will be joining the Boston Celtics.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com that the C's are planning to add the 7-foot veteran to the roster.

In order to make room for Hollins, the C's are expected to waive Chris Wilcox (heart condition) who will have surgery later this month and will be out for the remainder of the 2011-2012 season.

Of the big men available, Hollins was one of the few still remaining that the C's had interest in adding. Once Ronny Turiaf chose Miami and J.J. Hickson was claimed off waivers by Portland, Hollins was arguably the next best big man.

However, Boston's interest in Hollins goes back before he was waived by Cleveland on Tuesday.

Hollins, who played at UCLA, spent the lockout working out and playing in games with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Ainge said Garnett and Pierce urged him this summer to try and sign Hollins.

"They really liked his game and the way he could play with them," Ainge said. "I think he would fit in well with what we do."

It is unclear how much Hollins will help immediately.

For the C's, having another big on the roster is help in itself.

With both Wilcox and Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) out for the season, Boston's big-man rotation was down to Garnett, Brandon Bass and rookies Greg Stiemsma and JaJuan Johnson. Of that foursome, only Garnett (6-11) and Stiemsma (7-0) actually play the center position.

The 27-year-old Hollins has appeared in 299 games (54 starts) with Charlotte, Dallas, Minnesota and most recently, Cleveland. He has averaged 4.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game over the course of his career.

If the C's are able to get his contract ironed out today, he would most likely suit up for the first time against Washington on Sunday.

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

First Celtics practice 'a little different' but 'feels right' for Horford

WALTHAM, Mass. – NBA players are creatures of habit so you can understand why Al Horford was just a little bit out of his element on his first practice with the Boston Celtics.
 
After nine seasons with the Atlanta Hawks, Horford hit the free agent market this summer and signed a four-year, $113 million with the Celtics.
 
Horford acknowledged that his first practice with the Celtics “was a little different” but added, “It’s definitely a weird feeling, but it feels right to be here.”

Players, coaches, national pundits, the list is seemingly endless when it comes to folks who believe Horford is an ideal fit with the Boston Celtics.
 
“He can do score in the paint, shoot 3s, defend, pass, he can do it all out there,” Amir Johnson told CSNNE.com. “He’s going to fit in well with us.”
 
But like any rookie or newcomer to a team, Horford admitted he had some moments when he was a step or two late getting to where he needed to be on the floor.
 
“We’re running through a lot of plays, a lot of concepts being thrown out,” Horford said. “It’s a matter of getting comfortable with all the sets.”
 
As much as he will work to figure things out, Horford is wise enough to know he’ll need the help of his new teammates, too.
 
“I’m going to lean on a lot of the guys,” Horford said. “I’ll definitely ask a lot of questions. Avery (Bradley) already has gotten in my ear, anything I need he’s there for me. I just want to get acclimated as fast as I can.”
 
Horford also said that head coach Brad Stevens has been extremely helpful in assisting him in speeding up his learning curve.
 
“Coach (Stevens) is very sharp, very . . .  he explains things well,” Horford said. “He explains things well. He wants practice to move along. The pace of practice, definitely a faster pace.”
 
But you won’t find Horford complaining.
 
Horford is clearly excited about starting this new chapter in his basketball career.
 
“For me it’s more of a relief, finally being here in Boston, house, being settled,” Horford said. “Now we can just focus on the season.”