Report Card: Ryan Hollins
Player: Ryan Hollins
2011-12 averages: 2.8 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 10.7 mpg in Boston (3.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 13.4 mpg overall)
2011-12 salary: $248,000 in Boston ($993,000 overall)
Season highlight: With Stiemsma struggling through the early stages of a first-round series against the Atlanta Hawks, Hollins earned increased floor time and thrived with his energetic (and instigating) play. Coach Doc Rivers went so far as to suggest that Hollins "saved" the Celtics with six inspired minutes in a Game 2 triumph, then Hollins nearly helped Boston steal Game 5 of that series (five points, four rebounds, 19 energy-filled minutes).
Season lowlight: Hollins dipped from the rotation for much of the Eastern Conference finals against Miami. He was inactive for two of Boston's three wins in the middle of the series and played a mere 11 minutes over the first five games. There's probably no correlation, but consider this: The Celtics were 4-6 in postseason games that Hollins scored points; 7-3 in the ones he finished scoreless.
Final grade: C
Teacher's notes: It's unlikely any of us expected Hollins to be playing 10 minutes per game and aiding the Celtics' run to the doorstep of the NBA Finals. Sure, he wasn't a game-changer, but Hollins provided an occasional energy burst, finished some alley-oops from Rajon Rondo in transition, and even seemed to improve as a rebounder before season's end. An antagonizer of opponents, Hollins actually earned high praise (and occasional individual work) with the likes of Kevin Garnett, which suggests that the veterans on this team see potential in the 27-year-old journeyman center (fifth team in six NBA seasons). The best-kept secret about Hollins: His defense during his time in Boston was quite solid (he even ranked in the 90th percentile among all playoff defenders, allowing a mere 0.691 points per play during limited floor time, according to Synergy Sports data).
What's next?: If Garnett is back in Boston, another stint for Hollins wouldn't be the worse thing. Hollins clearly absorbed much of those one-on-one lessons, even if it didn't always manifest itself in statistical production -- at least on the offensive end. Hollins can be a nice depth big man when he harnesses his energy. The key for his development, however, might simply be minutes, which could make it more beneficial for him to seek employment elsewhere depending on how the Boston frontcourt fills out this offseason.
Honor roll: Click HERE to read past report cards.
Don't agree with teacher? Just want to sound off on Hollins' 2011-12 season? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Cris Carter covers the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, the Bears' win over the Cowboys, Alshon Jeffery's development, Chicago's QB situation and more.
Play Podcast Patriots CB Kyle Arrington talks about recovering the onside kick in the victory over the Browns, his team's comeback wins, New England's reaction to Rob Gronkowski's injury and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Trent Dilfer dishes on the impact of Rob Gronkowski's injury, Tony Romo's style of play, Chip Kelly's coaching, Robert Griffin III's struggles and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Tim Hasselbeck talks about the quality of officiating, Wes Welker's health, Rob Gronkowski's injury, the state of the Redskins and more.
Play Podcast ESPN NFL analyst Ron Jaworski discusses how Rob Gronkowski's injury could affect the Patriots' playoff success, the Eagles' offense, Peyton Manning's throwing style and more.