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Ryan Hollins at work during the regular season.WALTHAM, Mass. -- The box score doesn't do his effort justice, but Celtics center Ryan Hollins drew high praise from coach Doc Rivers for his contributions in Tuesday's Game 2 triumph over Atlanta in an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series.
"Ryan was awesome," said Rivers. "Ryan saved us, in my opinion. [Rookie center] Greg [Stiemsma] was struggling, but Ryan came in and it was his energy that saved us. We needed someone on the floor and Kevin [Garnett] needed a blow. It’s funny, you look at little minutes, but I thought Ryan Hollins’ minutes were really the turning point in the game."
Hollins initially checked in late in the first quarter of a tied game. The Hawks didn't generate a field goal while he was on the floor, missing all five shots they took over a stretch of more than three minutes (what's more, the often reboundingly-challenged Hollins grabbed two boards in that stretch).
Hollins finished with 6 minutes, 16 seconds of floor time, didn't score (missing the only shot he put up) while registering two fouls. But his plus-5 in the plus/minus showed how he kept the team afloat even when Garnett and Brandon Bass were on the bench.
Could it help his confidence moving forward?
"Clearly it helps him, it has to help his confidence," said Rivers. "And it helps the team’s confidence in him."