Collins makes Celtics debut in hopes to help rebounding


Collins makes Celtics debut in hopes to help rebounding

BROOKLYN, N.Y. As Doc Rivers made his way back to the Boston Celtics locker room following the C's 102-97 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, he couldn't help but notice the small scrum of reporters that had engulfed Jason Collins.

"Guy gets five minutes," Rivers quipped.

Uh, try his first five minutes as a Boston Celtic, coach.

And to Collins' credit, he made the most of that time by doing what he has done throughout his career - be solid.

There's not much sizzle to his game, a game that's about as flashy as a 15-watt light bulb.

But as Collins displayed in his eight-plus minutes on Thursday, his game does have value - the kind of value that might get him on the floor more as the season progresses.

The Celtics remain a horrible rebounding team that at its worst can be flat-out putrid to watch and when truly playing well, is relatively competitive.

That's exactly what Collins' presence provided on Thursday. He only grabbed one rebound, but there was indeed more activity on the glass by the C's upon him entering the game.

"He kind of stabilized us a little bit," Rivers said of Collins' impact in the first half.

When Collins signed with the C's this summer, he did so knowing that his opportunities to play would be few and far between.

For some, preparing daily without any realistic chance of playing most nights would seem like a difficult concept to embrace.

To Collins, it comes down to one thing - being a professional.

"It's more mental than anything," Collins said. "Yeah it's physical, staying in shape, getting your work in in the weight room and stuff like that. But mentally you have to be ready to get out there on the court, have your name called."

And if the Celtics continue to get hammered on the boards you can expect to hear his name called more often.

While that's always an option, Rivers is more likely to only turn to Collins when facing teams with multiple muscle guys in the frontcourt like Brooklyn which features Brook Lopez, Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans and Andray Blatche.

All those players caused the C's problem on Thursday night, reinforcing to us all what the C's greatest weakness is - rebounding.

Which may open things up for a few more minutes for Collins in the very near future.

"My job is to be ready," Collins said. "I don't look at it either way. Whether I play or not, that doesn't afffect my mindset going into the next game."