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2012-2013 Clipper Player Previews: Ryan Hollins

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For three weeks this preseason, we'll be publishing Player Previews for each of the 15 players currently under contract with the Clippers. In some cases there may not be much difference from last season's Exit Interviews, but the team does have seven new faces, and there were some significant developments over the off-season for some of the returning players as well, so let's get caught up with all of them before the season starts. First up, newcomer Ryan Hollins.

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Ryan Hollins career stats (6 seasons)











The Clippers managed to make major changes while maintaining a lot of consistency this off-season. How did they accomplish this seemingly paradoxical task? Well, they return all five starters and the likely sixth man from last season's team, while completely overhauling the bench, bringing in seven new faces for spots 7 through 13 on the depth chart.

One of the new faces is Ryan Hollins, a seven foot center in his seventh season out of UCLA. The Clippers are Hollins' sixth NBA team. Hollins has good length and athleticism, but not a lot of game. He's one of those guys who sticks around the league because you can't teach size and athletic seven footers are a pretty rare commodity. Perhaps his best season was three years ago in Minnesota, where he started 27 games, played almost 17 minutes per game, and averaged 13 points and 6 rebounds per 36 minutes.

Since he's played much of his career in NBA backwaters like Charlotte and Minnesota, many fans got their first good look at him last postseason, when he played 10 minutes per game in 17 playoff games for the Boston Celtics. The Celtics front court had been decimated by injuries, and they picked Hollins up off of waivers in March. He acquitted himself relatively well in the playoffs. Though his productivity remained exceedingly low (a PER in the playoffs of just 6) he played reasonable defense during his limited minutes on the floor, which is more or less all the Celtics wanted from him. Come to think of it, that's all the Clippers want from him this season also. He's not a great shot blocker, but he's active on defense and not afraid to take a charge.

Unfortunately Hollins is also an astoundingly poor rebounder for a man his size. In fact, of the 30 something active NBA players listed as seven feet or taller, Hollins is the worst defensive rebounder as measured by rebounding percentage -- and it's not even close. Rebounding percentage is the percentage of rebounds that you collect while you are on the floor. Since there are 10 players on the floor at all times, if all 10 of them got the same number of rebounds, then everyone would have a rebounding percentage of 10. Hollins' career defensive rebounding percentage is 11.9, which is ludicrously poor. Bear in mind that almost three fourths of all rebounds go to the defensive team, so just being on the defensive end should bump an average player's percentage up to about 15. Then consider that he's a center so he's generally playing close to the basket where most rebounds fall and HE'S SEVEN FEET TALL. Six foot Eric Bledsoe was a better defensive rebounder last season than seven foot Hollins.

The Clippers played the entire 2011-2012 season without a backup center (unless you count 10 games of Solomon Jones). Instead, Kenyon Martin (6'9") and Reggie Evans (6'8") battled opposing centers when DeAndre Jordan rested or was unproductive. In today's NBA, the truth is that you don't need a seven footer most of the time -- there are very few significant forces in the low post these days. But when you run into a Dwight Howard or an Andrew Bynum, it's nice to have a body or two who can match up, if only to spend some extra fouls. Probably as a reaction to last season's dearth of backup centers, the Clippers went out and signed two of them this summer (Hollins and Ronny Turiaf).

The Clippers appear to be much deeper this season than last, but they may still have some issues at the big spots. Ideally they'll get the vast majority of their front court minutes from starters Jordan and Blake Griffin along with Lamar Odom as the third big in the rotation. In a perfect world, Hollins will be limited to spot minutes, injury and foul trouble situations, and the occasional fresh body to hack Howard. For those types of situations, he seems useful enough, but this is probably not a player you want to be heavily involved in your rotation.