Let's keep these Cleveland Cavaliers player profiles rolling. Next stop is number 5, Ryan Hollins. He's not very good, but did get significant playing time with the Cavs last year. I love the fire that he brings to this team. Remember when he turned Charlie Villanueva into a madman and forced Dwyane Wade into getting a technical? He's another interesting case and it will be interesting to see what role he plays this season.
Conrad: After seeing Ryan Hollins help shut down Chris Bosh in the Cavs victory of Miami last season, how did your evaluation of his potential change?
Aaron: None at all. Hate to say it, but as amazing as that win was (and, for me, it was our best game all of last season), I still project Hollins as a career backup or worse. He's had his bright spots, like that game and the Laker game, but those strike me as incredible fluke performances. Because Hollins was crap otherwise last year. Pasty-soft on defense (with the Chris Bosh performance a notable exception) and relatively clueless every time he needed to be present on help. His worst aspect by far was his rebounding, which was almost record-breakingly bad last year. His rebounding percentage was barely above 9.0%, bad enough to be worse than every big man in the league with the exception of two players: Brian Cardinal and Andrea Bargnani. When those are the only players worse than you, you have major problems. Compound that with his lack of a shot / any non-dunking scoring ability, and you have a player that's at BEST a career backup.
Conrad: Over/under of 16.9 minutes per game in 2011-12?
Aaron: Now that's tough. For those who don't know, this is what he averaged last year. I'm tempted to take the under, solely because I don't think Varejao is going to be out for nearly as much of the season. And if Varejao is on the team, there's no way Hollins SHOULD average more than 15 mpg. But he'd carved out a place in Scott's rotation by year's end, and Scott is one of those coaches who trades on rep more than he trades on "is this a good player or not." So, while I'm tempted to take the under, I'll take the over. Because Byron Scott is probably going to work our guys to the bone once again next season, most likely leading to at least 3 or 4 games without Andy. And he's the only "true" center on our roster that Scott seems to actually trust, so he'll get his chances. Which should in turn make us a lock for a top 5 pick next year. Heckuva job, Byron!
Conrad: Give me the name of one star big man that Ryan Hollins will dunk all over next season. Defend your choice.
Aaron: I was very tempted to put Blake Griffin here, solely because Blake's defense is all-world awful at this point of his career, but the Cavs are only going to play the Clips once or twice in a compressed season. So I'm going to stay east. My top three would be Amare, Javale McGee, and Brook Lopez. Of these? Javale's barely a star, so he's out (even though Hollins was best against the Wizards last year, among every NBA team). The Knicks games are going to have a grudge-match quality to them after last year's 3-1 record against them that could very well have singlehandedly cost them the 5th seed. I don't think Amare will take those games as braindead-off as he took them last year. And that leaves Brook Lopez. A decent choice. Brook's defense is hairbrained at best, and while he has decent shot blocking stats, they're empty blocks and he has no real command of the fundamentals of post defense. Any big man who really sets his mind to dunking on him isn't going to get all that much of a contest. He plays a ton of minutes per game and has yet to miss a game in his three seasons, so he's unlikely to be out of action. If there's any defenseless star big that's going to get their face smashed in by a furious Hollins dunk, it's gonna be Brook. Check and mate.