This is the 13th in a series of profiles for all 15 players on the current Celtics roster. We’ll profile at least one player each day leading up to the season opener on Tuesday.
Patrick O’Bryant blocks a shot by Knicks center Eddy Curry during the second half of their preseason game in Boston. (AP)
Born: June 20, 1986
Height: 7 feet 0 inches. Weight: 250
Years pro: 2
Acquired: Signed as free agent in 2008 (Drafted No. 9 overall by Golden State in 2006)
2008/2009 salary: $1.5 million
Signed through: 2009-2010
Last year’s numbers: 1.5 ppg, 0.2 apg, 1.2 rpg in 24 games
Strengths: As Jay Bilas would say, O’Bryant is long. He uses his length to post up over smaller players, and it also allows him to recover and block shots on defense. It was evident this preseason that O’Bryant (what a name for a Celtic, huh?) is no 7-foot stiff. He has solid footwork and good hands. And he’s got a good shooting touch from 8-10 feet out.
Weaknesses: When the No. 9 pick in the NBA draft plays just 40 games in his first two seasons, as O’Bryant did in Golden State, questions about work ethic and motivation are bound to crop up. He seems to have the necessary skills, but O’Bryant hasn’t proven anything at the NBA level. He’s built more like Pau Gasol than Kendrick Perkins, so some added muscle might go a long way.
What to expect: The Celtics aren’t blessed with depth at the center position; O’Bryant is really the only true center on the roster after Perkins. That’s not to say that Kevin Garnett, Leon Powe, and Glen Davis won’t man the middle at times, but O’Bryant’s going to get minutes. It’ll be interesting to see what he does with them. Don’t be shocked if the Celtics use the combination of Powe and Davis in lieu of the 7-footer.
Check back tomorrow for another player profile, and give us your expectations for O’Bryant in our comments section.