Hollins looks to improve rebounding woes

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Hollins looks to improve rebounding woes

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."

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

Isaiah Thomas continues to claim Celtics' franchise records

BOSTON – This continues to be a historic season for Isaiah Thomas as more records fell in Wednesday’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee, and the company he’s keeping becomes even more exclusive. 

Thomas had a game-high 32 points on Wednesday which included five made 3’s on nine attempts. That gave him 223 for the season which is a new franchise single-season record for made 3-pointers. The previous record was 222 set by Antoine Walker during the 2001-2002 season.

And his 32 points scored gives him 2,012 this season. 

Only six players in franchise history (Paul Pierce was the last to do it during the 2005-2006 season) have scored 2,000 or more points in a single season. 

Oh, there’s more. 

With Wednesday being the 66th time this season he has had 20 or more points, Thomas has now tied Pierce (2005-2006) and Larry Bird (1985-1986; 1987-1988) for sixth on the Celtics’ single-season franchise list. 

“I didn’t even know that,” a visibly disappointed Thomas said following Wednesday’s loss. “It doesn’t feel that good right now. But when I look back on it, probably in the offseason, I’ll appreciate it a little more. But I’m just staying in the moment and try and play as best I can to lead this team to as many wins as possible.”

Other season milestones Thomas is in the mix for include the following:

  • The 5-foot-9 guard is one of three players this season to have 50 or more games of 25-plus points, joined by Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook (57) and Houston’s James Harden (54).
  • Thomas has made at least one 3-pointer in a franchise-record 50 straight games (Dec. 3 – March 29). That’s also the longest current streak in the NBA. 
  • With 66 games of 20 or more points this season, Thomas is second in the NBA to Westbrook (67).

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

Marcus Smart at center of yet another controversial call

BOSTON – One of the more bizarre plays in Boston’s 103-100 loss to Milwaukee came in the second quarter, requiring some explanation from the officials afterwards. 

With 3:55 to play in the second quarter, the officials had originally called a foul on Marcus Smart which he verbally protested that eventually led to him being whistled for a technical foul. 

After the officials reviewed the play, they changed the call to a personal foul against Khris Middleton but no change to the called technical foul against Smart who objected to a call that, upon review, they agreed was the wrong call to make. 

Official Sean Corbin, through pool reporter Ken Powtak of the Associated Press, acknowledged that the original call was a loose ball foul against Smart. 

“The (officiating) crew got together, we met prior to video and we decided that we needed to look at video because both players were on the floor bleeding so we went to the video for a hostile act,” Corbin told Powtak. “In the review we noticed that Khris Middleton initially made contact to Marcus Smart’s face. That’s how the original contact to the play occurred.”

Fortunately for the Celtics, Middleton missed his technical free throw while Smart split a pair of free throws which cut Milwaukee’s lead to 49-40.

Still, that’s no consolation for Smart who was whistled for a technical foul on a play that the official acknowledged was the wrong call to make. 

In the fourth quarter, Smart was at the center of yet another controversial call that was also reviewed by the officials. The verdict wasn't nearly as good for Smart who was whistled for a flagrant foul after getting his feet tangled up with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo who was called for a non-shooting foul in the play with 4:46 to play. 

Antetokounmpo made one of two free throws and on the Bucks' ensuing possession, he was called for traveling.

Smart was unavailable to talk after the game in part because the aforementioned incident left an abrasion to his mouth and, because of the technical foul, a little lighter in the wallet as well.