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Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Should C's consider Ryan Hollins

By Chris Forsberg

David Sherman/NBAE/Getty ImagesRyan Hollins defends Kevin Garnett.
The Cleveland Cavaliers waived 7-footer Ryan Hollins Tuesday making him the latest big man available as Friday's waiver deadline for playoff eligibility approaches. Should the Boston Celtics consider Hollins as part of their no-rock-left-unturned big-man search? Let's break it down:

* Start with a less-than-flattering player scouting report courtesy of John Hollinger:
One of the world's greatest mysteries is how Hollins can suck so badly at rebounding. He is 7 feet tall, 240 pounds and can jump out of the gym. It seems inconceivable that he would be a below-average rebounder, much less this shockingly below average. Yet last year he was outrebounded by every frontcourt player in the league except for Andrea Bargnani and Brian Cardinal. Wait, it gets better. Among those with better rebound rates than Hollins include Mike Dunleavy, Shane Battier, Evan Turner, Tracy McGrady, Chase Budinger, Thabo Sefolosha and Linas Kleiza. That's a sampling, mind you -- 39 perimeter players were more effective on the glass than Hollins. A lack of strength is partly to blame, which explains Hollins' other standout stat: He committed a foul every 5.94 minutes, one of the league's highest rates, and struggled to battle big centers both in the post and on the glass. But he has value in other respects at the defensive end. He's mobile and can defend the pick-and-roll, and graded out well on Syngery. Offensively, he has no skills except a knack for making short runners, but because he can run and jump he gets his share of free points. Hollins can finish, shooting 72.7 percent in the basket area and ranking seventh among centers in TS%. If he could grab a rebound once in a while, those other skills would make him a useful backup center.

* For his career, Hollins owns an abysmal total rebounding rate of 10 percent -- aided considerably by his ability to grab offensive caroms, and a defensive rebounding rate of 11.9 percent. As a means of comparison, old friend Semih Erden, never to be confused with Dennis Rodman, owns career rebounding rates of 12.3 percent overall and 17.1 percent defensively. Maybe that helps explain why Erden is still a Cavs employee.

* In 24 games for the Cavaliers this season, Hollins graded out as merely average offensively (0.848 points per play, 39th percentile), according to Synergy Sports data. He's actually fairly solid going at the basket, thriving as a roll man in the pick-and-roll and putting back misses. As Hollinger notes, his offensive game is highly limited beyond that.

* Defensively, Hollins graded out at "very good" (0.796 points per play, 72nd percentile). The stats suggest his length makes him a serviceable 1-on-1 defender and his athleticism allows him to defend the pick-and-roll. He does struggle in the post.

* There's a reason Hollins has been on four teams in six years: he's a flawed big man, but we'll go back to what we keep saying about Boston: Beggars can't be choosers. The Celtics need size, rebounding, and durability. As Meatlof said, two out of three ain't bad. Boston is such a poor rebounding team overall, maybe it can make him look better by comparison (hey, someone's gotta grab the caroms).

Final thought: Hollins has a little bit of fire to him and that might actually be a selling point to Boston. Ultimately, the Celtics need some size and, despite his rebounding woes, Hollins might emerge as one of the more attractive options if they have the roster spot (and he's an option that probably won't require a tug-of-war to land). If Boston seeks two big men, he's not a bad Option B. If he's Option A, it means the Celtics likely missed out elsewhere.