Hollins looks to improve rebounding woes

Hollins looks to improve rebounding woes
March 24, 2012, 5:02 am
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PHILADELPHIA Other than staying academically eligible, a 2.3 average doesn't do much for you if you play basketball.

But if you're a 7-foot forwardcenter in the NBA, and that's your rebounding average?

Yeah, you got a problem.

And that number, maybe more than anything else, is why Ryan Hollins - a relatively young, athletic 7-footer - was available for the Celtics' taking after he cleared waivers on Thursday.

Hollins saw his first action with the C's in Friday's 99-86 loss at Philadelphia.

The 27-year-old entered the game in the second quarter after Mickael Pietrus suffered a "closed head injury" and was unable to return.

Hollins finished with one point in just over three minutes of action.

While three minutes certainly isn't much time to do much on the boards (he had zero rebounds), that doesn't change the fact that rebounding has been a problem with him throughout his NBA career.

One of the first things C's coach Doc Rivers talked about after Hollins agreed to join the Celtics, was that he had to develop into a better rebounder.

Hollins agreed.

"I gotta be better," Hollins said. "I gotta be better. A lot of it is fit. You get with certain teams, certain chemistry, certain environments, guys tend to flourish," Hollins said. "You see that in the league. Hopefully this is my team, my situation.

He added, "If not, I'm going to make it my team, my situation. I'm going to do everything in my power to make it work."

At his size and age, there's a good chance that not too many more NBA teams are going to gamble that they can do what the others could not - make Hollins a better rebounder.

Cleveland thought he would be able to help them on the boards.

They were wrong, which is why they waived him earlier this week.

Hollins doesn't look back at his experience in Cleveland with any animosity or anger towards the organization.

"Every situation has it's own fit. It was time for me to move on from Cleveland," said Hollins, who averaged 3.7 points and 2.3 rebounds in 24 games with the Cavs. "There's no regrets; no looking back. No pointing the finger or anything. I think it was a good move for both sides."

While Rivers has high expectations for Hollins, he knows it will take him some time to catch up.

Still, when you consider that he's filling the void left by two players - Chris Wilcox (heart condition) and Jermaine O'Neal (wrist) - who are out for the season, Hollins is a definite upgrade.

"Ryan's a big kid. He's going to be a big kid if he sits on the bench," Rivers said. "He's going to be a big kid if we put him in the game. He's going to be a big kid that can run the floor. He'll make some mistakes. I just have to live with it."