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Getting To Know Jared Sullinger

 

Although there were a number of standouts on the Celtics summer team roster this season, there were few players that played more consistent basketball than Jared Sullinger. The All-American out of Ohio State has a significant chance to join the Celtics rotation right out of the gate next season, thanks to his offensive abilities and rebounding prowess.

Friend of CelticsHub Jessica Camerato from CSNNE.com was able to catch up with Sullinger for a candid conversation in Las Vegas last week to talk about his rebounding, his favorite all-time big men and much more

Check out the full interview, after the jump

  • sophomore

    I know many folks disagree, but I wasn't impressed by his performance as an offensive player. He shot 35%. Look it up. This against future D-Leaguers.

    For perspective, think of all the guys who've lit the summer league up over the years – guys who shot it better than 50% and scored 20 points a game. Most of these guys won't be rotation players at the next level for years, if they hang in at all. In 2010, people raved about Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter. Here's bleacher report on Ebanks: "This is what happens when you pass up a stud in the draft. This is the first of two second-round gems the Lakers have picked up. Ebanks … has produced well, averaging 23 points, two rebounds, two assists, and three steals a game." http://bleacherreport.com/articles/419433-2010-nb… Better stats than Sullinger, great athletic ability. But Ebanks has barely got off the bench in the pros, averaging 3.6 pts a game on 41% shooting. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/e/eba…. As for Caracter, even worse; I believe he's out of the game now. http://www.basketball-reference.com/players/c/car….

    I might excuse Sullinger's performance if he had an obvious skill, one that will clearly translate to the NBA. But he doesn't. He doesn't have a great inside game (remember: 35%); or overwhelming height or hops, or an out-of-the-box long jump shot that would make him a dangerous stretch four. His defining success on O was an ability to draw fouls and getting to the line. This isn't going to translate to the NBA, especially in his first few years in the league. Remember Zach Lowe: expect lots of rejections.

    Maybe – maybe – he'll become a solid offensive player over time. But I don't understand the enthusiasm being shown for what he did in summer league. The thing he's most likely going to be able to do is rebound the ball. Which is nice, I guess, and provides something we lack, but at best that makes him an end of the rotation player.

    • Robert Liscio

      Sullingers offense wasn't that great in the summer league, but I saw numerous things I like!! 1 being his passing ability, finding the open man, playing with the celtics starters or even 6 through 10 guys on the roster those passes will lead to alot of open looks and baskets!! 2 I didnt see him making alot of the same mistakes twice down in the post, he adjusted well and got some pretty good looks, not all of them fell but i he has the touch to make those shots, just a matter of getting acclimated to playing against bigger and better competition and finishing, and he has the IQ to make the necessary changes!!! Also if he plays with the starters he would be the 5th option, he get alot of open jumpers which he has the ability to make and he will get numerous offensive boards and putbacks and even easy shots, 3 point plays and free throws from guys like rondo, bradley, pierce and garnett!!, 3 Rebounding he has good hands, big hands, uses his body well to box out and puts himself in the right spots to get the board from watching where the ball was released from and the flight of the ball! Bottom Line after camp and losing a few lbs, hell be quicker and just plain better after picking KGS brain, bass's brain, and Docs brain and also playing against high quality defense, games will be easier than practice for him!! I think Sully has the chance to start if he keeps his head down, listens learns and puts in the practice time on his jumper and post moves, if he doesn't eventually start he'll be the #2 power forward and will get guys like terry and lee alot of open looks after getting the pass in the post and passing out of the double team, also passing to bradley, and lee slashing to the bucket! He has an all around game, something not alot of draft picks have period! If he can better his shot and work on his post moves how many picks can post up 4's and 5's successfully, shoot the 15-20 footer, finish with both hands, have nice little hook shots, pass great for a big, rebound, play pretty good D, might need some help against the 6'11" and 7 footers in the post but bostons defense is predicated on help D just dont get flat out beat! And not turn the ball over!! Ill tell you how many picks can do that probably none! He has the potential to be a great all around player that will fit perfect in the C's system, I see him one day with lines like 15-18 points, 7-11 boards 2-4 assists and a steal or 2 sounds good to me at pick 21!!!

    • Rav

      Yeah, we shouldn't really show too much enthusiasm for what we see in the Summer League. Even displays of a new specific skill (e.g. the passing ability that Robert mentions) can be deceiving – for example, Marquis Daniels once showed off a 3pt-shot (that was pre-season actually, but the idea is the same). However, there have been players who played mediocrely in the Summer League yet have gone on to be stars, so don't extrapolate too much from his 35% fg-shooting either.

    • celts fan

      dude we got him at pick 21, thats why its so awesome

  • Gwp

    Agree totally…as much as I do not want to. I do think there are a couple bright spots though. He can rebound. That generally translates the best of all skills across levels of play. We sorely need that…but with our style of play I am not sure it helps. A lesser gift is that he can shoot the three and open the lane for the smalls. I hope we are wrong but I do not think he will be a very consistent scorer.

  • Tos

    The hype, in my opinion is that he is the definition of a utility player. The Celtics need him to be a role layer, but one whose role is going to constantly and inconsistently change. That is where I think Sullinger will shine.

    All of what you said is true Sophmore, but it is because he can do just about everything pretty decently instead of one thing great, that will allow him to be useful for the Celtics.

    That is his greatest ability, the ability to be the Big Baby 2.0. Role player who occasionally will score in bunches, or do the little things, rebound and yes even defend.

    That is where the excitement comes in.

  • sophomore

    Thanks for the thoughtful replies; I hope to be wrong!

  • Oops

    Man, is it just me or are these Big Baby comparisons more than a little misleading?

    Big Baby was never a top five talent, Big Baby certainly couldn't shoot like Sullinger and besides that Sully seems infinitely more fit, faster, stronger, and above all else a highly touted rebounder. He's not a freak athlete like Perry Jones III or some other 4's that were drafted recently but he is also no Glen Davis.

    Simply, I think we expect another Glen Davis but may actually get a more versatile, better rebounding, better scoring Brandon Bass.

    He may never be an all-star or MVP but he may be an uper-tier starter.

  • sigh

    His post game is impressive

  • High Rollers

    No, Sophomore. If you can rebound for this team, you won’t be on the bench.

  • High Rollers

    I love Barkley, but Sully putting him at the one is more than questionable.

  • Tos

    Oops,

    No, it’s not misleading. You are clearly not a Big Baby fan, which is fine because neither am I. With that said, I am much more comfortable comparing Sullinger with Big Baby because of the basics they do have in common and that I am not expecting Sullinger to be the second coming of KG.

    The facts are Sull plays below the rim, isn’t athletically gifted, shoots a lot of mid rangers, isn’t the best defender, is undersized and overweight (debatable). Sound familiar?

    I hope Sull is a better Bass, but I’m expected a better Big Baby. But who knows, he could turn out to be a Greg Oden or hell maybe even a Jared Sullinger.

    My point is I’m drawing my comparisons based on what I see and where my expectations fall, and they seem to be lower than yours.

  • Cornhead

    I think the one attribute not mentioned in any of these posts is his basketball IQ. He's a coach's son and just knows how to play the game. Look at some of our past greats: Bird, McHale, DJ…..even the Truth. None of these guys had superior athleticism campared to their contemporary rivals. BUT, they were smart and crafty.

    I think Sullinger will carve out a nice rotation spot this year and the Celtics will reap the benefits. Will he become a dominant All-Star? Probably not, but he will find a way to contribute and be successful.

    Plus, the guy is big and strong, hopefully can set good picks, and keep the opponents bigs off the glass.

  • http://Espn Ohio boy

    I’ve watched sully since middle school. He’s a great rebounder. Second best at the summer leauge. He will be a beast on the boards. He young to. Once he gets used to the NBA he will deliver. He’s a great kid with a great hart. He wears it on his sleeve a little to much. But you gotta love his emotion. Big baby my ass. Elton brand or zack Randolph

  • MARrshh

    I'll go everybodly one better — I don't have any idea whether he'll over-or-underwhelm in the NBA. But he's big, athletically gifted, and seems to have a good attitude. Those are the tangibles. The intangibles are unknowable in advance, so we'll have to wait and see. But I like the odds.

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