Jason Collins is 33 years old, and averaged just 10.3 minutes per game last season. However, that number did bump to 17 minutes in the playoffs. Last season, Collins averaged 1.3 points per game and 1.6 rebounds per game. While he is not the most skilled rebounder, Collins will do the dirty work. He is a 7-footer who plays physical and likes to bang. Collins will set picks, box people out and will help to ware down opposing big men such as Andrew Bynum over the course of a game. He will likely see his most minutes against bigger teams such as Bynum and the 76ers.
The only other true center on the roster is rookie Fab Melo. However, the Syracuse product has not been playing basketball for all that long and is still learning the game. He is a major product, who likely will spend most of this season in the D-League. The 7-footer from Brazil, may very well turn out to be the Center the Celtics dreamt of when selecting him with the 22nd overall pick, however that will not come for some time.
Bring in Darko Milicic. With Milicic now in the fold, the Celtics have two 7-footers and now possess the size to effectively match-up against bigger foes. Milicic is 27 years old and while he will never live up to the expectations of being the number two pick overall, he continues to carve out a solid career. In 2011-2012, Milicic averaged 4.6 points and 3.3 rebounds, while playing in 29 games for the Timberwolves. He is an underrated defender and a good rebounder. Just like Collins, Milicic provides the Celtics with another 7-footer who plays physical and can hold his own against the league’s better centers.
The Celtics can now feel more comfortable going into match-ups against bigger opponents such as the rival Lakers. They have a variety of options and can now match the Lakers, who have two 7-footers.
The Eastern Conference has also gotten bigger. As previously mentioned, Philadelphia has added Bynum and Brook Lopez, who played in just 5 games this past season, returns to a much improved Nets team. The Pacers have a talented 7-footer of their own in Roy Hibbert, in addition to 2-time all-star, David West.
The Celtics now have Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, Chris Wilcox, Milicic, and Collins to help counteract rival bigs, alongside starters Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass.
The addition of Milicic and the versatility in the backcourt as well as the frontcourt now, might just be enough to bring home banner 18.