Well… so much for wearing my Sullinger shirt all season. The breaking news is that Rookie Jared Sullinger will be out for the rest of the season after re-injuring his back. The reason why he fell so far in the draft was because teams didn’t think that he could get past his injury. I guess they were right. Apparently, he will be perfectly fine after he rehabs, but you never know. This happens less than a week after we found out that Rajon Rondo would miss the rest of the season as well.
Sullinger has proven himself to be one of the better rookies in the league, and by far the best one the Celtic’s have brought on board in years. Jared averaged 6 points and 5.9 rebounds in just under 20 minutes per game. These aren’t outstanding numbers, but as of late, he has been on of our most solid contributors. The Celtic’s have called up Fab Melo from the Development League, and he may see some time.
What a great weekend for Boston sports fans. Pats win, Peyton loses, and the Celtics extend their win streak to 5 games with a win over Houston, 103-91, on Friday night. For now, let’s just focus on the C’s. When I wrote this article a little over a week ago, we were on a 4 game losing streak and playing some of the toughest teams in the league. Now the Green and White are riding the hot hand going into a game against a 9-27 Charlotte Bobcats team on Monday night.
On Friday, the Celtics were ready to play. Garnett scored 17 points and grabbed 8 boards. Pierce shot lights out for 23 points while Courtney Lee dropped 14 of his own. Once again, Jared Sullinger came up huge, scoring 14 points but grabbing 11 boards off the bench. He only missed 1 shot and is developing into an amazing role player. Sullinger is leading all rookies in +/-.
Rajon Rondo has been a little off recently. I mean he is playing great basketball for anyone else, but according to his high standards that we have come to know, he isn’t that great. He only had 8 assists last game and 8 the game before, bringing his league-leading average down to 11.1. Once he gets going again we should be able to put up some serious points. The return of Avery Bradley on the defensive end has been huge as well, as he covers the opposing teams best player in every game.
The Celtics won both games that they played this weekend, topping the Pacers 94-75 and the Hawks 89-81. The C’s are currently sitting at one game below .500 (16-17) and take on the Knicks, who are second place in the East.
On Friday, against the 19-14 Pacers, Kevin Garnett scored 18 points and grabbed 7 boards before being ejected for scuffling with Tyler Hansbrough. Rondo added 18 while Pierce and Courtney Lee both scored 13. Jared Sullinger had 10 rebounds (4 offensive).
On Saturday, against the 20-12 Hawks, the C’s had a tougher task. After being down most of the game, they came back on Rondo’s back. Rajon had a triple-double with 14 Points, 10 Assists, and 11 Rebounds. Paul Pierce scored 26 points while grabbing 9 boards and Sullinger added 8 Points, 9 Rebounds.
The Celtics made it a great Christmas Classic yesterday afternoon, beating the Brooklyn Nets 93-76. There was another scuffle, the second of the season against this team, after KG and Wallace got into it. It didn’t get as big as the first time when Rondo made Humphries look like a girl and everyone got ejected basically. Rondo had 19 points but only 5 assists, which was weird to watch. Paul Pierce and KG each only had 8 points so that probably explains it, but Pierce was the leader with 10 assists. I would like to know when the last time Rondo played and wasn’t the team leader in assists.
Jeff Green had a big game with 15 points, while Jared Sullinger scored 16 on 6 of 7 shooting while grabbing 7 boards. The C’s are now one game above .500 but it will be tough to stay that way when they visit the Clippers on the west coast Thursday night. The Clips are currently riding a 14 game win streak. Hope everyone had a good Christmas!
The Celtics split their weekend games with a win over Toronto 107-89 on Saturday afternoon, and a loss to the Pistons 103-83 on Sunday night.
On Saturday, Garnett dropped 15, Pierce 19, and Terry 20. Terry connected on 4 of 7 three-pointers. My favorite thing about the game on Saturday was Jared Sullinger recording his first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Rondo added 20 assists as well.
On Sunday, things didn’t seem to go right for the C’s. Garnett was able to drop 15 again, but Pierce only put in 13, before leaving in the 4th quarter with what looks like an ankle injury. Jared Sullinger had another big night though with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Things did get scary late in the game, with Rondo’s consecutive 10+ assist streak on the line. The last two minutes revolved around plays being called for him to get an open shooter to give the ball to. He failed to do so until a broken play left Jared Sullinger at the top of the key who hit a deep shot to extend Rajon’s chance at the record. He is now 3 games behind John Stockton for 2nd highest.
Here are a few things out of the Celtic’s practices this week:
Assistant coach Mike Longabardi has been tasked with focusing solely on the defensive side of the ball. Former assistants that also did this were Tom Thibodeau and Lawrence Frank, both went on to be head coaches elsewhere.
KG said Sullinger is a lot like Perkins was while he was here. He said he’s not the same kind of defender but is completely unselfish, moves the ball, and has a very high basketball IQ. Garnett went on to say that he loves having the rookie as a teammate already.
Their entire practice Tuesday was about defensive strategies. Doc said they went over cutting out the shooters, eliminating baseline drives, and communicating like his old teams were known for.
They are playing the Wizards again tonight at the Garden. I will be rocking the balcony seats so be sure to tune in since the election is over and there’s no other sports to watch.. Go Celts!
Last week, we took a poll about who you guys think has been the biggest star of the pre-season for newcomers, and I included Jeff Green because he was injured last season. Jared Sullinger won with over 50% of the votes, and Jeff Green was tied for second with Courtney Lee and Jason Terry, all with roughly 12% of the votes. Everyone keeps going on about how good our team is going to be because of our depth but here are some reasons why each player will succeed in our system.
Jared Sullinger: Rookie that fell to us in the draft, should have been a high lottery pick if not for an injured back last season. Not too many rookies get minutes in our system, but Jared could be starting some nights. KG and Doc Rivers have both said that he has a very high basketball IQ and does not play like a rookie typically does. He has adapted to the Celtics’ system real quick, and is not timid out on the court. He rebounds consistently and shoots right when he gets the open look, rather than hesitate and up fake 15 times like a lot of smaller big men like himself. And good news for C’s fans: Garnett said he is “giving him the book, teaching him everything I know”.
The Celtics have been my favorite sports team since I can remember. Yes, the B’s, Pat’s, and Sox are obviously right up there, too. But I have always seen the Green and White above all. I love their history, from Red Auerbach and Bill Russell, to the original big 3 (Bird, Parish, Mchale), to the new big 3 and everything in between. That being said, I do not remember the last time that I was this excited for the Celtics season to start. With the Pat’s barely sneaking by, the NHL in a lockout, and the Sox not playing last season (I’m pretending that’s what happened), I cannot wait.
In my opinion, this is the most talented team that we have had since the Bird era. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that we are as deep as the Russell team (Pictured Below) that had 9 future Hall of Famers on their roster in the 1962-63 season. Needless-to-say, they won a championship that season. That was their 5th in a row, eventually setting the record with 8 in a row. But we are solid.Continue reading →
It was a great night for the C’s as their starters played a good amount of time and beat the revamped Brooklyn Nets with ease, 115-85. Even Nets Coach Avery Johnson said it looked like our starts went out there to send a message. That message was received. First off, we out-rebounded a team, which rarely happens. It also helped that we shout 11-19 from 3-point range.
Paul Pierce led the way with 18 points on 4-4 from behind the arc. He left briefly in the 2nd quarter after coming down awkwardly on his ankle on a made 3-pointer. He seems to be alright now, thankfully. Newcomer Courtney Lee also chipped in 18 points. Lee only missed 4 shots the whole night, 3 of which were 3-pointers. He also had a game-high 4 steals, which is a big step up from what Ray Allen could do on the defensive end for us last year.
Jason Terry added 15 points on a perfect 5-5 from 3-point land, Rondo put in 14 points of his own while narrowly missing out on a double-double with 9 assists, and Garnett couldn’t miss with 14 points of his own. Even rookies Kris Joseph (11 points, 5 rebounds) and Jared Sullinger (12 points, 6 rebounds) played great for the Celts. Sullinger recorded a team-high +23 while on the floor in 28 minutes of play.
It is great to see a team that is so deep this season. However, Bass went out in the first half with a bruised right knee and did not return. Remember, he was out last season for a bit with right knee inflammation, so we are waiting to hear more on that.
Which newbie do you think has been the brightest beam of light this pre-season?
The Celtics are finally back in the country, after winning one and losing one overseas. To their defense, the starters played about 10 minutes or less in their loss. Rookie Forward Jared Sullinger played huge for the Celtics and is now possibly looking at a starter’s role in some cases. Doc Rivers stated to ESPN that he thinks he will have many starting line ups. The typical one will be Rondo, Lee (Bradley when he returns), Pierce, Bass, and Garnett. Another possibility could be Rondo, Terry, Pierce, Sullinger, and Garnett. He may even start Darko Milicic sometimes since he is surprisingly good at shutting down opposing big men, and moving KG back to his normal Power Forward position.
Let’s get back to Sullinger. The rookie has received a lot of praise for his play overseas. Typically, Rivers won’t let rookies see too much floor time. However, he says that Sullinger’s IQ makes him act like a veteran, not a rookie. He doesn’t get scared or rush things, he lets plays develop and puts himself in the best position to make a play for the team. His biggest role is going to be banging down low with the big guys, grabbing offensive rebounds (Celtics had the worst offensive rebounding percentage of ALL TIME last season), and putting the 2nd chance points in the hoop. He is a decent defender but can score better than most. He is 6’9 and has long arms and a great mid-short range jumper. Rondo even dubbed him as “probably the smartest rookie we’ve had since I’ve been here”. Look for Jared Sullinger to have a big role on this older team this season.