Ryan Hollins has been a part of the Los Angeles basketball scene for a long time now, so he should fell right at home with the Los Angeles Clippers. Hollins played for the UCLA Bruins during his college career and played for them in the 2006 Final Four. He was on a Bruins team that went all the way to the National Championship game, the first of three straight to reach the Final Four. There is no other L. A. sports team with more pressure to win than the Bruins. The Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Dodgers and perhaps the USC Trojans football may have as much, but not more.
Some of his Bruin teammates to also play in the NBA include Jordan Farmar, Luc Richard M’Bah a Moute, Arron Afflalo and fellow Clipper Darren Collison. Hollins never had numbers that stood out in college, but his play on the defensive end was enough to get him into the NBA where he is now entering his eighth season.
Collison started his NBA career with the Charlotte Bobcats where he played his first three seasons. Since then he has bounced around the NBA a bit with stops with the Dallas Mavericks (27 games), Minnesota Timberwolves (2009-10), Cleveland Cavaliers (2010-11, 24 games in 2011-12), and the Boston Celtics (15 games) before landing with the Clippers last season. The Clippers come into this season with high expectations, so his time with UCLA should prepare him for this.
Hollins gives the Clippers another seven foot center to give Deandre Jordan a break. With Jordan out of the game and Hollins in, the Clippers will not drop off that much on defense. Last season Hollins only averaged about 11 minutes per game and averaged over three points, two rebounds and a blocked shot. His per-36 minutes have him at 11 points and seven rebounds per game.
Hollins also gives the Clippers better free throw shooting from the front court when he is in there. With his 75% free throw shooting the opposition cannot hack him like they tend to do to Jordan and Blake Griffin.
Hollins isn’t going to see major minutes with the loaded roster the Clippers have, but when he is in the game he can handle himself on the court.
One knock against Hollins is his lack of rebounding. This seems to be a mystery considering his height and athletic skills. Hollins was a state high jump champion in high school when he cleared 6′ 10″. With his height and his hops, he should be a “Windex Man” for the Clippers. Hopefully he got in the gym and bulked up a little bit in the off-season to help with this. If Hollins could get a bit more aggressive on the glass, he would likely get more minutes.