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.
“I thought he did a great job,” Garnett said of Sullinger’s first start during the Celtics [team stats]’ win in Washington last Saturday. “He’s a no-nonsense guy. Not that I’m shooting down the other guys, but he’s a young fella, he comes in and does what you tell him. He’s a great rebounder. His IQ is incredible.
“He reminds me a lot of Perk, man. Not the defender Perk was, but his IQ moving the ball and being unselfish is the same.”
Sullinger learned this much — when Kevin Garnett speaks, the wisest thing to do is agree.
“It means a lot,” Sullinger said of the comparison. “First of all, it comes from Kevin. When Kevin gives anybody praise, he really likes you, I guess. It’s a blessing.
“But at the same time I have to keep working.”
Doc Rivers always says when the best player on the team is on your side, it’s a lot easier for the rest of the team to fall in line behind you. Of course, he is talking about being the head coach when he says that, but it applies to players as well.
For Jared Sullinger, being a rookie getting used to the grind of the NBA, there’s no better man to have in your corner than Garnett. We know about Garnett’s thermal exhaust port-sized window of opportunity afforded new players. You basically get one chance to accept his tutelage or risk being shunned for your entire career. Sullinger hasn’t only grasped that opportunity, he’s won KG over in unprecedented fashion.
That’s a testament to Sullinger’s abilities, hard work, and professionalism. KG sees it, and he clearly loves it… because you don’t just get a Perk comparison in that locker room for nothing.
Garnett’s not just acceptance, but full-on embracing of Sullinger is a winning ticket (election puns!) for the Celtics in the future because KG needs to trust the people he’s playing with. It makes his life easier for the Celtics, and for Sullinger, as they move forward. Whether that’s with Sullinger or Brandon Bass as a starter or finisher, we’ll have to wait and see. But it’s clear KG’s got Sullinger’s back whenever they’re out on the floor together.
I continue to be amazed by the way, and how quickly, this has progressed. Again, that’s on Sullinger for being what he is. He was the round peg in the round hole for once in a Celtics draft. It’s been a while since a piece fit this quickly in Boston right out of college.
Related links: CSNNE: Sullinger reminds Garnett of Perkins | WEEI: Why Garnett comparing Sullinger to Perkins matters | Globe: For Sullinger, a chance to go beyond comparisons
The rest of the links:
CSNNE: Celtics starters aren’t going to bail bench out | For Lee, knowing role is half the battle | Longabardi takes defensive lapses personally | Does Rondo need more time to grow into leadership role? | ESPN Boston: Five on fire: KG playing with an edge | Will it click? Terry’s cautionary tale | Celtics hope help is on the way | Gotham talks C’s on The Herd | Defense still the focus | WEEI: Doc: I want Longabardi to take it personally when teams score | Herald: Deep roots of defense | Globe: Garnett says Celtics are a work in progress | MWDN: KG wants consistency