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November 15, 2008

Is Ryan Hollins the answer?

Some thoughts about what I saw Friday against the Jazz:   

   I'm sure there's someone out there who claims all Larry Brown needed to do was play Ryan Hollins, and everything would get solved.

          If you're that person, then take a bow. And do it quickly, because it's just as likely Hollins will end up back on the bench in Brown's evolving rotation as it is he'll jump off this platform and become a star.    

Can't say I'm surprised Brown started Sean May at power forward and made Jared Dudley a reserve.

          That's not a demotion for Dudley and it's also not about this Tar Heel-mafia theory some of you ABCers espouse.

          May is, by default, the best option next to Emeka Okafor inside. For the Bobcats, as they're currently configured, to reach the playoffs (and that's a remote possibility), May has to play, and play well. Dudley might be my favorite Bobcat for his exceptional pluck and intelligence. But I agree with Brown that asking him, night-in and night-out, to defend starting power forwards was just unfair.


Got an email from a reader, insisting that since Adam Morrison has played better than Matt Carroll, it's a huge injustice that Carroll started in Jason Richardson's place and Morrison did not.

          Why is starting such a big deal?

          Morrison played 24 minutes to Carroll's 18. Morrison was in the game when it was decided, Carroll was not. I doubt that Carroll being introduced as a starter was some great affront to Morrison.

          Here's the deal: Morrison has hit a nice rhythm, coming off the bench, and the coaches didn't want to mess with that.

Posted by Observer Sports on November 15, 2008 at 09:56 AM | Permalink


I think Davidson being cut may have influenced how Hollins approaches the game. He is probably the most disposable player on the roster. I hope he continues to improve and give the Bobcats the athletic big man they need.

Posted by: Token | Nov 15, 2008 11:23:00 AM

To those emailing about Morrison:

Really, Carroll hasn't played enough for a fair comparison. Shooters need minutes to find their shot.

Secondly, Carroll is a better athlete, and has shown in previous seasons that he can handle NBA starters--at least for a few games at a time.

Morrison, on the other hand, has found his niche to be exploiting defensive breakdowns against NBA second-stringers. Nothing wrong with that.

Another thought: Does Morrison have better chemistry with DJ than Raymond? Just throwing that out there.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 15, 2008 11:30:00 AM

In what way is Carroll more athletic than Morrison exactly? Just curious.

Posted by: Bro D. | Nov 15, 2008 1:11:04 PM

Daavidson being cut had no influence over how Hollins plays the game. He has done the same thing year in and year out every time he gets a chance. This is the same guy who was the energy guy for UCLA as a starter. How many starters are also the main energy guys on a team?

Posted by: D | Nov 15, 2008 2:14:21 PM

Hey, like you alluded to in another article, Rick...unlike Dudley, Sean May's NEVER going to give up any "heft" in the post.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 15, 2008 2:16:39 PM

Hey, like you alluded to in another article, Rick...unlike Dudley, Sean May's NEVER going to give up any "heft" in the post.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 15, 2008 2:16:40 PM

Don't know if Davidson being cut affected Hollins' approach, but that's a plausible theory. I have little reason to doubt that -- if they needed a roster spot -- Hollins would have been the next one cut.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 15, 2008 4:56:10 PM

Let me say something that I believe is the truth. It is a major mistake for the Bobcats to not play Ryan Hollins! This kid is 7 feet tall, can jump out of the gym, play defense, block shots, and can actually shoot and score!

Nobody denies that Ryan has an amazing level of Athleticism to be a 7 footer. If you want to see a guy like Ryan develop, you've got to play him! The more he plays, the more confidence he exudes, and the better he performs.

Why draft a guy like that, and then sit him on the bench for 3 years? If I were the coach of the Bobcats, I would play Ryan at least 10-15 minutes every game!

Imagine, Ryan playing either power forward....and get this....even small forward, he would be an NBA matchup nightmare! I hope the Bobcats will allow this young man to play as I believe he is a star in waiting!

Posted by: Wayne Cooper | Nov 15, 2008 10:06:02 PM

I think that you Bobcat fans need to remember that you just beat a Jazz team that played WITHOUT Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur, three starters from last year!!! You should have a chance to win a game like that. They were missing 2 of their top 3 scorers from this year and a leader in assists in the entire league. Let me add that Deron got screwed out of an All-Star game appearance last year. BTW, I am NOT a Jazz fan.


Posted by: Smitty | Nov 16, 2008 12:57:58 AM

Bro D.,

Carroll is stronger, with longer strides and more fluid movements. Here are some career stat comparisons. Keep in mind that Carroll doesn't have Morrison's height/length.....

Carroll blocks a shot every 140.4 minutes.
Morrison blocks a shot every 354.3 minutes.

Carroll grabs a rebound every 8.63 minutes.
Morrison grabs one every 10.1 minutes.

Carroll gets a steal every 34.9 minutes.
Morrison gets a steal every 88.6 minutes.

I don't have dunking statistics, but I'm sure Carroll probably takes half the time to get a dunk than Morrison does--at least.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 16, 2008 1:45:07 AM

I've always thought Ryan Hollins was a very usable player. He could be just like Tyson Chandler is he got the opportunity. I think you could run a pick n roll alley oop numerous times a night, just like Chandler, and he'd finish them. Nobody's going to stop that, he's too tall, too long and too athletic.

Morrison has been playing great off the bench, so I think you keep him there. He's been thriving with little pressure to succeed. I don't think chemistry with PGs is a factor with Adam, the things he does well are normally done off the dribble or coming off a screen, not a play created by someone else. As goofy and unathletic as he is, he can somehow create. Besides, both Ray and DJ are playing with Adam quite a bit. All three played the crunch time minutes last game.

As far as comparing Adam and Matt, they are different types of players. Matt seems to get a confidence boost when he starts so it's a no brainer to start him in J-Rich's absence. Matt's definitely more of an athlete, but he normally needs his shot created for him, which is part of the reason why he fits in the starting lineup. it provides some balance in the backcourt with the 2 slashing guards.

Posted by: Eddie | Nov 16, 2008 5:13:18 AM

You imply that the various Bobcats coaches haven't given Hollins a chance, and that's simply not true. In fact, Sam Vincent gave him first shot at being a starter, alongside Emeka Okafor, and it just didn't work out. Ryan is a wonderful athlete, and he might develop into a solid NBA big man. But he's an excitable guy who has trouble playing under control; not fouling, not making rash decisions. Brown expects his players to be extremely cerebral, and Ryan is still a work-in-progress. What he did the other night was promising, but he's not the can't-miss prospect you described.
And small forward? He'd foul out in five minutes.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 16, 2008 9:47:06 AM

Hey Rick:

Where have you been? Sam Vincent DID NOT give Ryan a crack at being a starter! In fact, Sam Vincent didn't know how to even use Ryan or other players for that matter, and that is why he got fired after a year as Coach.

The issues you raised about not playing under control, making rash decisions, are all symptoms of lack of playing time. How do you overcome that? You overcome it by being in the game, understanding the game situation....and playing with more confidence in your ability and in your decision making skills as it relates to the game plan!

Since I know Ryan personally, I know that he wasn't put up as a possible starter; that is simply not true!

Posted by: Wayne Cooper | Nov 16, 2008 12:42:49 PM

Uhh, Wayne, you're wrong. Hollins started each of the first six preseason games last year, but he lost his spot because he was so bad.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 16, 2008 3:50:21 PM

Hey Michael:

I am not sure of what you have alleged in terms of Ryan starting the first six pre-season games on last lear. However, I will ask him that very question when we speak again.

Even if that were true, you still have to give a person some consistent time on the floor! Ryan has all the tools in order to be an effective "Big Man" in the NBA; what he simply needs is time and consistency of play.

Again, if I were coaching a guy like Ryan, I would give him an average of 10-15 minutes per game to allow him to build his confidence. Everyone knows that being in the game is also a mental exercise, and Ryan will improve even from a mental point of view.

The bottom line is Ryan Hollins can play in the NBA hands down! I hope that Coach Brown really understand that, and allow Ryan to develop by playing him CONSISTENTLY!

Posted by: Wayne Cooper | Nov 16, 2008 4:20:20 PM

Wayne: I was at training camp in Wilmington when Vincent handed the starting job to Hollins once May was declared out. That is simply a fact.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 16, 2008 6:35:15 PM

DeLaQuest... I don't think it's fair to compare Carroll and Morrison using stats from Morrison's first (and ONLY) season. Carroll has a fair bit more experience, which accounts for his better stats. I also fail to see how those numbers prove Carroll to be a better athlete.

As for Hollins... he is what he is, an energy guy that comes off the bench. I think starting him at C would be about as plausible as starting Dudley at PF. It is fun to watch his energy off the bench though, when he touches the ball he acts like he just got tasered.

Posted by: David | Nov 16, 2008 6:55:57 PM

Wayne, take a look at the box scores: http://www.nba.com/bobcats/bobcats_breakdown_0708.html

Despite playing 26.1 MPG, he averaged only 5.2-4.8 with only 5 blocks over the six games. That's weak performance from a 20 MPG bench player, much less a starter.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 16, 2008 9:09:00 PM

Hey Rick & Michael:

I hear what you guys are saying, but I am STILL a believer that if Ryan is played enough, you will see development that has not been shown. There is absolutely no question in my mind that Ryan is a Diamond in the Rough!

Perhaps there needs to be consideration of the system and/or team chemistry, etc. What I know is if I were coaching the NBA and had a player with Ryan's physical makeup and atheleticim, I'd MAKE SURE that his full potential would be realized even if it meant exploring other possibilities such as trying different positions, etc.

I'd be willing to bet you Rick that if Ryan was playing for a coach like Phil Jackson or Pat Riley or Greg Popivich, you'd see a major difference in Ryan! What say you?


Posted by: Wayne Cooper | Nov 16, 2008 10:23:12 PM

First off, you owe me an apology for claiming Hollins was never given the opportunity to start for the Bobcats. The facts are the facts, and you sure glossed over that after suggesting I didn't know what I saw last year in training camp.
Second, I never suggested Ryan wasn't someone worth examining and perhaps developing. But tonight was a good example of his inconsistency. He missed all three of his shots and didn't have a block. The onus is not on coaches to play him. The onus is on Ryan to give the coaches a reason to play him.

Posted by: Rick Bonnell | Nov 16, 2008 11:12:35 PM

Wayne, let's take a look at some second-round players for the coaches you've mentioned:
Jackson: 2004-Marcus Douthit
2005-Von Wafer
2006-JR Pinnock
2007-Sun Yue

Riley (no second-round picks in '05/'06): 2001-Ken Johnson
2002-Rasual Butler
2003-Jerome Beasley

Popovich (no second-round pick in '05):
2004-Romain Saito, Sergei Karaulov
2006-Damir Markota
2007-Marcus Williams, Giorgos Printezis

So what's the problem...with great coaches like these, should we be talking about studs?

Posted by: Michael Procton | Nov 16, 2008 11:23:37 PM

"Imagine, Ryan playing either power forward....and get this....even small forward, he would be an NBA matchup nightmare! I hope the Bobcats will allow this young man to play as I believe he is a star in waiting!"

A comment like that shows that you don't know how to evaluate talent, and it makes your credibility when talking about basketball go way down. Hollins a 3? Yeah, right.

Posted by: Yeah? | Nov 16, 2008 11:45:59 PM


I can assure you that I can evaulate talent and skills, and that I know the game of Baskeball and how it should be played!

I will ALWAYS stand behind my convictions where Ryan Hollins is concerned. As for Rick Bonnell's point of Ryan having to give the coaches a reason to play him is a bunch of baloney!

First, even Coach Brown has acknowledged that Ryan practices hard during team workouts. I believe both Bernie and Sam said the same thing.

However, you can't play a person one game a month and then look for stats like 20 ppg, 12 rebounds, etc. I made the point of saying that playing basketball is a "mental exercise".

Any marquee player in the NBA would not do well under those types of conditions. This is my challenge and let's see if I prove to be wrong: Play Ryan at least 10 minutes a game every game; and I will bet you that you would see a major difference in both the physical and mental aspect of Ryan's game!

So, you guys can continue to talk nonsense all you want, I want to see my "theory" proven wrong! Play the man CONSISTENTLY and let's see what happens!

Posted by: Wayne | Nov 17, 2008 2:11:46 PM

After reading the comments about Ryan Hollins, Here is my "theory"
If he played extremely well, he would have critics and he he played just plain awful he would definitely have critics...thats what supposed to happen. Personally I don't think this one man has any impact on how bad the Bobcats suck anyway, he'd probably be better off with a better team, better point guard, better coach ect.. A big man is as only as good as his point guard.

Posted by: in conclusion........... | Nov 17, 2008 3:29:11 PM

To "in conclusion",

Ryan Hollins should thank his lucky stars that he is on any NBA team. He is lucky to be playing with DJ and Raymond, because they are better than the D-league All-Stars that he belongs with.

He plays exactly like the person he is: A 7-foot track star trying to be a basketball player. If he were any good, he would have been a fulltime starter on this poorly-configured, no-power-forward-havin' team a long time ago.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 17, 2008 8:22:57 PM

And in response to "A big man is as only as good as his point guard.".....

Give up the college basketball mentality. You don't need a top-notch point guard to excel in the NBA. Ask last year's Champions. Do you think it mattered who was bringing the ball up the court with Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett on that team?

Were Steve Kerr, John Paxson, and BJ Armstrong the driving force behind the Bulls? Did Shaq dominate and win titles because of Derrick Fisher and Jason Williams?

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 17, 2008 8:30:24 PM


What about tonight's game against the Mavericks? Did you see Ryan play extremely well? That's what I am talking about! Play this young man consistently, and you will see a major difference. This guy can play in the league. This rhetoric from DelaQuest makes no sense!

Ryan is in the league because he's good enough!

Posted by: Wayne Cooper | Nov 18, 2008 11:13:44 PM

Its quite interesting to read the back and forth between folks. To Wayne, since you personally know Ryan, your opinion is being took at its bias value. While you do make some good points, your arguement is futile in the eyes of non-believers. My personal opinion is that if Ryan given the opportunity to play a bigger role in the front court, would be very effective. I think it was Delaquest that said when he gets the ball, he acts like he was just tasered. Well wouldnt you, if you rarely got in the game, and let alone given an offensive opportunity. The poise comes with time played. The high pick and roll, with the alley oop would be a play that would be effective, but obviously couldnt be ran all the time. I gaurantee you, on any given night that Ryan will out play the Cats starting big man, I'm sure he does it in practice. What the coach is more or less looking for, are the intangibles. Stepping out on screens, hustle plays, going for the block, fighting for the rebound. These things have to be second nature. Ryan has it in him, he showed it in the NCAA tournament, and has shown glimpses of that production in a couple of the games. Is he the answer you ask Rick? NO! However, he could be a very effective piece to the puzzle. The team, needs overhaul altogether. I am talking about attitude wise. None of em want to lose, but to don't see that fluidity that its takes to win consistently. The players seem for themselves rather than the team. Look at Atlanta, they have a bunch of indvidual atletes that bought in to what the coach was selling, and now look at them. Play your role effectively, sustain a team first attitude, listen to the coach, practice to win, not just to play, and i guarantee a 8th spot in the Eastern Conf to start. I think Brown will leave before the season is over personally. Gerald Wallace, doesnt appear to be the the SF that they need. He doesnt make the guys around him better. He doens't compliment his big men, and doesnt effectively use his PG. SF is vital, can really be the X-factor.

Posted by: Clarity | Nov 19, 2008 6:18:43 PM

Its good to see Hollins play. Playing him maybe the 'outside the box' method that is needed to step the level of play of other players. Dudley is another one who could be a vital piece to the puzzle, if used properly.

Posted by: Clarity | Nov 19, 2008 6:23:27 PM

Clarity and Wayne (Cooper?),

You guys can have your Ryan Hollins fan club. I'm sure it will be a very very tight-knit group, if you know what I mean.

And no, Clarity, I never said Ryan looks like he's been "tasered" with the ball in his hands. That's a good one, though.

Wayne, your credibility ended when you suggested Ryan could play small forward.
You can't be old Wayne Cooper from the Portland Trailblazers, because he would know better.

Posted by: DeLaQuest | Nov 20, 2008 4:15:02 PM

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