ATLANTA On the same day that the Boston Celtics added former Boston College forwardcenter Sean Williams, the previous "new guy" to the Celtics frontcourt Ryan Hollins has his best game as a Celtic.
No one knows for sure -- but you won't find C's head coach Doc Rivers complaining or questioning it.
"We always say you push and pull and if you're not playing and a new guy comes in and you think he's going to take your minutes, then you should play harder," Rivers said. "It's a man's game."
Hollins had eight points and five rebounds in Boston's 97-92 loss to Atlanta while playing more than 30 minutes - all season highs with the C's.
But his impact on the game had little to do with scoring and rebounding.
He provided energy, showed great hustle at both ends of the floor, doing many of the things that the Celtics were hoping to see him contribute once he signed with the Celtics.
However, with a lack of practice time and the Celtics fighting for the Atlantic Division title and the No. 4 seed that came with it, there just weren't many opportunities for him to play.
Now that the Atlantic division title has been clinched in addition to Greg Stiemsma having foot issues, Hollins is sure to see more minutes in the remaining games prior to the playoffs.
Stiemsma, who did not play in the second half of the Hawks loss due to soreness in his left foot (which has plantar fasciitis), was happy to see Hollins get a chance to play major minutes for a change.
"It was definitely good to see him go out and play aggressive," Stiemsma said.
Hollins understands that because of where the C's are positioned, these games will go far in terms of making an impression on the Celtics coaching staff as to whether they can rely on him in a pinch.
As much as the players pull for one another, none of them wants to ride the pine, either.
"I wanted to come out and kind of get playoff-ready (against Atlanta)," Hollins said. "Show coach (Rivers) the things I can do and give myself be ready to play those minutes on the court."
And while the scoring was nice, Hollins knows his greatest contributions to the C's most nights may involve him only touching the ball on rebounds.
"When I'm playing with the Big Four out there, my game is going to be trapping, rebounding, defending, those little things," Hollins said. "I'm not going to get touches. I understand that. The little things that don't show up, I can control that."