Jared Sullinger was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week earlier today by the NBA. It was the second time this season that a Celtics player was awarded the honor (Jordan Crawford was the other). Sullinger joins elite company this week, as Kevin Durant earned the award from the Western Conference. Here’s a quick summary of just how well Sullinger played during the past week from the NBA (via Chris Forsberg of ESPN Boston.)
Feb. 5 @ Philadelphia: Collected 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four blocks in a 114-108 win over the 76ers.
Feb. 7 vs. Sacramento: Tallied 31 points and 16 rebounds during a 99-89 win over the Kings.
Feb. 9 vs. Dallas: Notched his third double-double of the week (and fifth consecutive) with 11 points and 12 rebounds in a 102-91 loss to the Mavericks
Over those three games, Sullinger averaged 20.3 points and 12.7 rebounds per contest and has now posted five consecutive double-doubles overall. Our own Adam Lowenstein broke down the numbers on Sully’s tremendous play this season last week.
Sullinger definitely deserved his invitation to the Rising Stars Challenge because he has been one of the green’s best rebounders of the last few decades. His offensive rebounding might be the best of any Celtic in the last 20 years. He is on pace to be the only Boston basketball player in that span to play at least 1,250 minutes in one season and post an offensive rebounding percentage of 13.4 or better. The last player to accomplish that feat was Ed Pinckney with a 15.2 offensive rebounding percentage in 1991-92.
The main reason for Sullinger’s top-10 offensive rebounding percentage in the league (minimum 15 minutes per game) was his tremendous January. He led all NBA players with nine games of at least five offensive rebounds during that month. In comparison, there have been a combined five performances of five or more offensive rebounds by Celtics not named Sullinger this season.
If it had not been for the hand injury near the end of January, the 21-year old big man could have had an even better first month of 2014. However, he really has bounced back in his last two games. With 24 points and 17 rebounds against the 76ers on January 29 and then 21 and 12 on Super Bowl Sunday, Sullinger reached another level in his sophomore season. For the first time in his career, he had back-to-back games of at least 15 points and 10 rebounds.
You can read the full piece by Adam by clicking here