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|New center Scot Pollard, above, will look to bring the C’s energy off the bench this season.(Courtesy of deadspin.com)|
Probably more known for his hairdos than his ability as an NBA center, Scot Pollard brings the Celtics added muscle to the front court. The eccentric 6’11” big man was signed August 7 to a one-year deal at the veteran minimum ($1.0 million), a few days after Danny Ainge completed the deal for star forward Kevin Garnett. Pollard will bring a Kevin Millar-type persona to the locker room and should be a quote-machine all year long for the press.
He may be most-remembered for an incident late last season in which he was not suited up for a game against the Pacers. With the camera on him, Pollard said, “Hey kids, do drugs.” Pollard was disciplined by the Cavs, and later apologized admitting it was a “bad joke.” He continued, “That’s all it boils down to. There are a number of things people could say about it, but it just turned out it was a bad joke. Obviously, I don’t believe that.”
Enough with his wild hair, crazy personality, and outlandish statements. Underneath all the tattoos and Mohawks, there is a solid NBA center with a knack for getting tough rebounds. In his 10-year career, he has averaged 4.5 points, 4.8 rebounds in 16.9 minutes per contest with the Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Indiana Pacers, and Cleveland Cavaliers.
Last season he signed a one-year, $2 million deal to play with the Cavs. He played sparingly and in 24 games he averaged 1.0 points and 1.3 rebounds in just 4.5 minutes per game. Pollard played even less in the playoffs for the Eastern Conference champs, getting into just three games without scoring a point or grabbing a rebound. He enjoyed his best success as a member of the Sacramento Kings in 2001-2002, averaging career bests in both points (7.1) and rebounds (6.4) while playing 80 games.
Pollard has the ability to grab rebounds in bunches off the bench, and has no problem jumping up for the ball in traffic. Pollard, like most big men, can have difficulty at times getting in foul trouble, but he will only be needed to come off the bench for 10-15 minutes per game to give center Kendrick Perkins a rest. Perk may also get into some foul trouble as well, so if that remains a problem for him this season, Pollard’s minutes could definitely rise. He could also prove valuable in games against fellow conference contender Miami, as he has gone toe-to-toe with Heat center Shaquille O’Neal on several occasions when he was with the Kings and Shaq was with the Lakers.
Bottom line, Pollard should be motivated after getting all the way to the NBA finals last season with the Cavs (despite never really playing). He never really tasted playoff action. This season may be different for Pollard, as now he’s penciled in as the No. 2 center behind Kendrick Perkins, so he should expect to see more minutes. Perhaps, Pollard may get to play in the playoffs again, as he searches his first championship ring.
Scot Pollard’s player projection for 2007-2008: