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Your Morning Dump… Why Jared Sullinger deserves to be a starter

Chuck - Red's Army October 20, 2012 Brandon Bass, Celtics News, Jared Sullinger, The Morning Dump 9 Comments

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

And yet, through six preseason games, Sullinger has stood out both for his on-court play — 11 points, 7 rebounds, 56 percent shooting in 25 minutes — and for his demeanor. His notoriously hard to impress veteran teammates have embraced him in a way that would seem impossible around these parts.

Have we forgotten that Rivers himself has been judged to be a coach who refuses to play rookies? The coach’s reply when that charge is brought up is always the same: Give me a young guy who can play and see what happens. Sullinger can play.

… What Sullinger brings to the starting lineup is points and rebounds. More specifically, as Rondo pointed out, he can get points without running the offense through him to get a shot. Sullinger moves well without the ball and has the touch and feel to score inside off passes and cuts. That skill alone will make Rondo’s drives to the basket far more dangerous.

WEEI – The case for starting Jared Sullinger

An excellent column by Paul Flannery. He spells out all the reasons why Jared Sullinger should start and, although I was hesitant to tinker with the core, I’m convinced.

Sullinger adds diversity to the starting 5. As Liam Neeson so eloquently said in Taken, “a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people…” Sullinger is far from a lethal weapon, but you get the point.

And this shouldn’t be taken as a knock on Brandon Bass. He brings a much needed element to the second unit:

During the preseason Bass has played well with the second group. If he comes into the game with Jason Terry and Jeff Green, he can run pick and pops and keep the floor spread for Green to drive to the basket or post-up. That has the makings of a very effective bench.

This entire plan goes to sh*t if Sullinger struggles on defense. As we’ve seen through Doc’s tenure, he has little tolerance for guys who don’t get it on D.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston - The Quiet Truth: Paul Pierce primed | CSNNE – Lee rediscovers his championship caliber defense | Lee reaping sneaker benefits of sitting next to Rondo | Heinsohn likes Doc’s game plan | Herald – Lee helps coach cope | Globe – Lee also providing Celtics with defense | Grantland – League has already warned 10 players about flopping |

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  • Sam

    I think Sully may earn his spot on the starting lineup eventually, but I think the point you get to at the end is the biggest factor here. Doc won’t put Sully into the starting lineup until he’s confident in his ability to keep up with defensive rotations.

    That’s been Sully’s lone really noticeable weak point so far in pre-season.

  • Sam

    What I think SHOULD happen from the get-go, though, is that Bass and Sullinger basically split minutes, with things going one way or another depending on matchups (and Green playing 10 or so minutes a night at the 4 in small-ball lineups, undoubtedly).

  • http://driveittothemoon.com/ Lee in Oregon

    Although Bass has done nothing to lose his starting spot, I’m ok with it….I think it give’s strength to the 2nd unit, If it doesn’t work out, Doc can always go back to Bass.

    The whole thing where Doc never plays rookies is a bit overblown. He’s actually always been a good developer of young talent, in Orlando & Boston, until he ended up with a roster full of hall-of-famers. Big Baby & Leon got plenty of minutes in their rookie year.

    • LA Flake

      You were spot on about Bass having done NOTHING. Then you continued.

      • kg215

        There is no reason to hate on Bass so much. He is a solid player, and we didn’t give him a huge contract. Were you expecting him to be a star or something?

  • aaron

    Bass has earned his spot as a stater on this team. He worked hard last year to play good d against other starting 4s, and his offense is good(how many free throws did he make in the playoffs? Clutch.
    Sully will get his minutes to shine, develop and learn. I liked the group the other night with Sully at 5 and Green at 4, that small ball group should see plenty of minutes in a game.
    But for now, I think the spot is Bass’.

  • Gil305

    Given his responses to the media about the line-ups, I don’t think Bass will be pleased coming off the bench. Believe me I share the same thought as most people, if they win with it damn what he thinks. They need to pay attention to his attitude about it all because it can affect his play out there.

    • kg215

      Attitude would be complaining directly or in a passive aggressive manner. For example Big Baby 2 years ago “I don’t know what my role is.” Basically implying he wanted to do more or deserved to do more. Just because Bass isn’t excited about coming off the bench doesn’t mean he has attitude. I definitely think Bass is better as a bench player and we should develop Sully as the starter, Bass hasn’t shown any signs that he will complain about it if that happens. If Bass does complain then worry about his “attitude.”

      • Gil305

        Maybe the correct word was “feelings”. I agree with what you’re saying, I just hope that as a team they pay attention. We already dealt with “emotions” in the past, now is not the time. Dont need him chuckin up shots when he comes off the bench out of spite….although he’d be glued to the pine immediately knowing Doc lol