Sullinger makes himself at home





ORLANDO — A couple of weeks ago on draft night, Jared Sullinger was at home in Columbus, Ohio watching on TV instead of hanging out with the other expected high picks at the big show in New Jersey.

There had been doctors exams, talk of a potential back problem and that’s how he slipped all the way to the No. 21 spot where he was scooped up by the Celtics.

On Monday afternoon Sullinger was right at home in the second half of Boston’s 73-65 win over the Thunder in the AirTran Orlando Pro Summer League.

The 6-foot-9 forward scored 14 of his game-high 20 points in the second half as he steadily grew more comfortable with the pace and the style of play.

“I didn’t want to come into the game thinking like its all about me, all about me playing the way I’ve played all my life, where everything goes through you. I didn’t want to play like that today, because I got some teammates that can really play.

“I was just trying to feel it out in the first half. Then in the second half I saw we were falling behind, so I tried to step and score the basketball.”

What the Celtics got from Sullinger in that second half was an assortment of nifty offensive moves, a 3-point bucket and most predictably a guy with a 270-pound frame that enjoys and even thrives on the contact inside.

“You know what? When you have two brothers like Julian Sullinger and J.J. Sullinger and you go through the air on concrete and they throw you to the ground and you’ve got scrapes all over your arms, you learn to concentrate on making the shot instead of the scrapes on your arms” he said. “Every time I cried they’d yell at me because I was always worried about the scab or something instead of making the shots. When you have two brothers like that, you got no choice but to make the shot. They trained me well, from the time I was about five. I owe them a lot.”

If Sullinger can prove that he’s physically able to meet the demands of the NBA, the Celtics could owe every a bit of thanks to every club that was scared off by the medical reports. Here was a two-time All-American that averaged 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.1 blocked shots for an Ohio State team that was one of the best in the country last season and had been projected as high as a top-five pick before word began to circulate that there could be a problem with a disk in his back.

“This guy knows how to play,” said Celtics assistant Tyronn Lue, who got his first chance to call the shots on the sidelines on Monday. “You can tell from the way he puts the ball on the floor, the way he moves, spins and just looks comfortable. This is a guy who really knows how to play.”

31 Comments

  1. znerolkram says:

    *PLAY

  2. znerolkram says:

    I hope Sullinger and Jones III will prove all the critics that they can plaI hope Sullinger and Jones III will prove all the critics that they can play and injuries is not a hindrance!y and injuries is not a hindrance!

  3. Paul Barbeau says:

    Bynum for Nowitzki.

    In a straight up deal.
    between “Must win now Lakers” and “Jump ship” Mavs.

    Don’t ask me how I know. I just know.

  4. 6&3>35&0 says:

    Pistons should have drafted sullenger

  5. arnold ray says:

    We made the EASTERN FINALS and we were not healthy ,I know injuries are part the game,with the pick-up of our DRAFT CHOICES J-TERRY and losing RAY ALLEN WE are on our WAY BACK TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP TRY TO GET CAMBY,,HE WOULD SPELL GARNETT FOR TEN MINUTES A GAME UNTIL MELO makes the adjustment …REMEMBER WE HAVE THE BEST COACH AND STAFF IN THE LEAGUE !!!!!!

  6. AHardt says:

    6’9″, 270? As a Laker fan even I’m looking forward to watching this guy bash some skulls

  7. Lion3 says:

    If Celtics sign Brand or Kaman for next season, all the missing pieces to trophy #18 will be in place. I just hope every one is healthy come play-off time and the ghost of Celtic past (particularly those of Len Bias and Reggie Lewis) doesn’t visit the team in the next ten years!

  8. mario says:

    Kaman, Jamison and McGrady would be great additions. One last push for this ring.

  9. Real Big 3 says:

    Yah.. we need to have another shooter or a big.. there is no way we can beat miami with just terry and few promising rookie… Ray will be shooting against us instead of Miller that’s too scary to think…

  10. I am sure the Celtics will be a better team this year– they got that winning Culture that easily transfer to impressionable rookies like Sullinger

  11. Marc says:

    He’s gonna have a good career if his career isn’t plagued by injuries like Greg Oden or Brandon Roy. There’s no telling that of course.

  12. Bill says:

    You wrote the story and I only read it. Jus to clear the confusion.

  13. Bill says:

    Jared’s brothers conditioned him well to the point he doesn’t think what pain is. Great little story from an old white guy.

  14. tim dayao says:

    Good luck Ray…see us holding trophy no. 18!

  15. Jared is gunn a be a great player I’m a heat fan since 03 so I hate the celtics but I’m excited to see Jared play

  16. trade1 says:

    i thought sullinger was taller, he’s just a small forward in a power forward body.. 6’8, 6’9 is not big in the nba anymore… lots of players 6’7 to 6’11 with skills, that aren’t playing in the summer league.. welcome to the nba.. C’s need a big guy for sure, sully is like a paul pierce type possibly, but i don’t like OSU players, they always seem to be a bust…

    • Jim says:

      Sullinger bangs around down low and weighs 270 pounds. He’s most definitely not a Paul Pierce type…

  17. Dhruv says:

    I completely agree, T-Mac would be a perfect addition to the roster, especially considering he played for Doc in Orlando, on top of which the celts lack a solid scoring playmaker and a 3, he is a near perfect fit. would love to see TMac in green. Also Sullinger shows so much promise, was serioulsy hoping he’d fall to the C’s still weary about the thought of him playing the 5 instead of the 4, but the celts have a bright future with rondo, bradley, green and sullinger as a core, looking forward to the next few years.

  18. morlai Turay says:

    Good how ray perish in Hell Miami.

  19. Jizzel says:

    As a Duke fan, I didn’t like Sully and OSU. But as a Celtic fan, I wish him much success. I agree, they should push for one of those bigs. Each one could serve a purpose (Brand can provide some low post scoring, Camby still is a defensive presence, Kaman can do a little of both).

    • Jizzel says:

      Well count Camby out. I went back to the home screen to find out that he just chose the Knicks!

  20. Kamote says:

    Boston still needs one reliable big man vet for rotation (and to give KG ample rest and the 2 rookies time to get in NBA shape). Hopefully they could convince either Camby, Brand or Kaman. It would also help them if they can get another shooter/scorer to replace Allen. Rashard and TMac are on the waivers, and I think Doc can still squeeze some juice from these guys as long as they buy in the system.

    Make it happen Ainge, one more push.

    • Bob says:

      They have Jason Terry, dude can make 3′s

      • Kamote says:

        I know. But I think he’s projected more as a combo guard as a Celtic, probably playing off the bench for Bradley and Rondo. He’s expected to facilitate also as PG, so I think he’d be less lethal unlike in Dallas where his is to score. Pierce is the only player left paid to shoot 3′s (well, Pietrus has no choice but to take open 3′s like Bowen to keep the D honest). With Rashard, he can play 2-3-4 giving Doc plenty of options and Rondo more room to operate. And with TMac, he can play the facilitator and let Terry do his thing :).

    • VanillaFace says:

      I like the thought of T-Mac and/or Brand suiting up for the Celts

      • Kamote says:

        I hope that would happen. Truth is, even last year, Boston isnt about the Big3 anymore. Boston’s identity now is KG’s tenacity, Doc’s system and Rondo’s execution. But the sad fact is, expect KG and Pierce not to be in perfect health the whole year. The last time the team was healthy was their championship year, and its really a prayer for that to happen again. They badly needed extra bodies that would buy in to Doc’s system and help Rondo do his thing. The two rookies still has to develop, as well as Green and Bradley. What they need are vets (since they wouldnt have the money to get players at their prime), that could be good rotation players to give Doc the options he needed and also allow KG and Pierce to have ample rest.

    • dmontani says:

      i wouldnt mind seein old ben wallace in green

    • J Smith says:

      Cambys off the table..

  21. adrixe says:

    Hopefully KG can teach him a lot and be a good player for them! Looking forward for the next season with the celtics! hopefully they’ll be healthy all year long.