Fight for 15: Damen Bell-Holter


Dec 15 2011; Spokane, WA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward Elias Harris (20) goes out to attempt to block the shot of Oral Roberts Golden Eagles forward Damen Bell-Holter (32) during the second half at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Gonzaga won 67-61. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

With the start of training camp today, September 30th, the Boston Celtics final training camp roster will have 18 spots unless another player is added shortly before the start. There are a few players who are going to have to fight for the final roster spot on the team. The Celtics have 14 guaranteed contracts, so those players will likely not be going anywhere. In the fight for 15, we’ll discuss the four players who received invites to camp that could make the cut. 

Damen Bell-Holter will start the fight for the 15th spot today as training camp starts. Bell-Holter will look to dominate during training camp using his size and his athleticism–something the Celtics really need. The Celtics don’t have a lot of true centers running around on the roster. They’ve got a dearth of power forwards that may be able to play center in spurts, but you’re going to need a pure center at some point. 

Bell-Holter could potentially bring that to Boston this season. He’s a center/forward from out of Oral Roberts university that has a pretty versatile scoring game and can work well with a good point guard that will set him up.

Why Bell-Holter Should Get the Spot

The Boston Celtics have plenty of room for the 6’10 center on their roster. They need any size that they can get–especially size that can bang down low. Bell-Holter is able to do that. He’s a big body that you can put down low and he can put the ball in the bucket. He’s sort of raw and has plenty of things to work on, but he’ll work well as a diver out of the pick and roll and will be an easy target for the Celtics’ guards in the paint.

He averaged 6.1 free throws per game in his last year at Oral Roberts and made 75% of them. For a big man, that is a huge plus. If he gets fouled, he’ll be able to make shots. With him being 6’10 and 252, he’s bound to get fouled if he sees any time on the floor. It’s a huge plus that he won’t be a liability there. He shot 51% from the floor last year and averaged 15.9 points per game with 9.6 rebounds as well.

He’s a player that could fit really well into a pick and roll scheme as a diver and finisher. The Celtics haven’t seen that in a long time.

Why Bell-Holter Shouldn’t Get the Spot

Bell-Holter has a lot to work on when it comes to the defensive end of the ball. His footwork needs fast improvement and he isn’t that quick of a mover when it comes to moving laterally. If the Celtics are going to be an aggressive defensive team, Bell-Holter won’t be able to play. He’d be stuck in situations where he’d have to stick onto a guard and that isn’t a situation that he’d be able to handle.

As a rim protector, for his size, he should be a lot better than he is. He’s decent at sagging back at this point, but he doesn’t understand defensive angles and when to go for blocks.  If he can’t improve defensively, he won’t make this team. The Celtics success is going to ride largely onto their defensive scheme.

Will Bell-Holter make the team?

I don’t think Bell-Holter will make the team. He isn’t good enough defensively to keep a roster spot. As much as Brad Stevens has talked about defense and rebounding this offseason, it’s going to pretty important. I don’t think Bell-Holter is good enough defensively to keep a spot.

He has some bright spots–especially when talking about his size and his height. He has tons of potential and you can do a lot with that, but if he can’t defend  on an NBA level right now then he shouldn’t make the team.