Ryan Hollins isn’t going to make or break the Celtics.
His job, quite simply, is to eat up minutes and provide some length for the Celtics especially when Kevin Garnett needs a breather.
Garnett, the C’s best player in the postseason and arguably their MVP throughout the regular season, can’t play the entire game, although as we wish he could.
That leaves minutes for Hollins and Greg Stiemsma. Stiemsma was the team’s go-to backup big for the first half of the year, but Hollins, signed off waivers on March 23, has taken that spot on the depth chart.
Averaging 1.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, and 2.0 points in 12.7 minutes per game in the postseason, it’s clear that Hollins is nowhere near the top of the C’s production chart. But he doesn’t have to be. He can contribute in a variety of different ways.
Back on May 11, Celtics head coach Doc Rivers told the press one reason as to why Hollins gets the playing time he does:
“Honestly, he’s an irritant. He pisses guys off in practice. He does. He irritates people.”
And on Friday, you saw that. In the first quarter, Hollins got tangled up with Sixers youngster Evan Turner after the whistle, refusing to move his elbow away from the neck of Turner. It wasn’t dirty, it was just Hollins being Hollins.
It got under Turner’s skin, and may have contributed to his atrocious first half of shooting, 2-of-14 from the field.
So, don’t expect Hollins to drain jumpers and rip down boards at a rapid pace. But if he can play some head games and help the C’s compete without KG, his success will continue.