I will admit that I have zero business having issue with anything that Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers does. Doc is considered one of the best coaches in the NBA and he sees more of this basketball team then anyone on this planet. However, there is one perplexing issue I have thus far with Rivers and his playoff rotations. I am just driven to almost insanity by the fact that Greg Stiemsma’s minutes have shrunk to an almost minuscule level. My mind is even more boggled by the fact that his minutes are given to one Ryan Hollins. Hollins is the same Ryan Hollins that was cut by his last team and has a reputation of playing way too out of control. A reputation that thus far is well founded.
I get that Rivers wants a guy with energy on the floor. Hollins is a great energy guy. I get that he likes an irritant like Hollins that will get into his opponents heads on the floor to make something happen. The problem is that nothing he does on the floor makes up for the fact that Hollins is far too reckless on the defensive end and makes way too many mental mistakes. For every great hustle rebound or charge that Hollins takes, he lets his man get easy baskets due to poor rotations or a terrible lack of boxing out that results in his team losing a chance at a rebound. Opponents are also not worried about shooting over him because he is a terrible shot blocker.
Stiemsma on the other hand can do so much more than Hollins. He provides a solid defensive presence in the middle. He not only blocks shots like he did in game five, but he alters so many shots. During the course of the year, Greg developed the reputation as a shot blocker. Players know this and this causes players to alter their shots around him. This makes Boston a better defensive team with him on the floor. Stiemsma was a plus one versus Hollins minus two and that tells the whole story.
Greg is also a better offensive player than Hollins. While Hollins may be more athletic, Greg has much better range. Greg can stretch the floor with a solid fifteen foot jumper released quickly at his disposal. He also moves wells without the ball and can score in the paint. Greg put his offensive skills on full display in game five with an impressive five for five shooting for ten big points.
The bottom line is Hollins is a nice third center that should be given third center minutes. Greg Stiemsma on the other hand is a much better option and should get backup center minutes. He is a solid defender off the bench and is not out of place on the offensive end. Hollins just is not going to ever be able to give Boston the kind of stat line that Greg gave Boston in game five of this NBA Eastern Conference Semi Finals. I just hope Doc sees it this way too. Remember GO Green Or Go Home!!!!!!!!