Your Morning Dump..Where Stevens Found An Unlikely Trio | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Stevens finds unlikely trio in first game-A. Sherrod Blakely

Gerald Wallace, Jared Sullinger and rookie Kelly Olynyk are about as different a trio as you’ll find on this roster.

Wallace is a high-energy, athletic wing player.

Sullinger is a bulky, undersized power forward with a soft touch around the basket.

And Olynyk is a 7-foot rookie with a point guard’s mentality, evident by him dishing out a team-high five assists on Monday.

Brad Stevens had been telling the media for the last few days that the trio of Sully, Kelly & Wallace had impressed him in practice. Well tonight those three had a chance to show what they could do together in game action, and they did not disappoint. Olynyk had a team-best five assists to go with four points and two boards. He ran the floor extremely well and his passing was on point. Wallace put in a team-high 16 points in 26 minutes on 6 of 10 shooting, and Sullinger had the most complete game of the three-Jared scored 14 points, many of them tough hoops in the paint, grabbed 6 rebounds and added 4 assists.

Heading into Boston’s first preseason game last night, Brad Stevens’ main goal was to try out different lineups. He started the night off with Lee & Bradley at the guard positions, and Humphries, Bass & Green in the front court. This lineup struggled on the offensive end, taking & missing jumper after jumper and not getting the C’s their first field goal until the 8:12 mark of the 1st. Olynyk and Wallace checked-in with 5:41 left in the quarter, and Sullinger came in shortly thereafter. The trio combined for 14 of the C’s 27 first quarter points. At the end of the quarter, Boston had pulled to within 1, down 28-27. The C’s ended up losing the game, 97-89, but Stevens was quite satisfied with the minutes the three played together.

a“They did a really good job out there,” said Stevens. “You know, I don’t have a plus/minus report right now … but they played pretty well together.”

Olynyk and Wallace were plus-3 and plus-2, respectively, when they were on the floor while the C’s were plus-9, the best on the team, when Sullinger was in the game.

Wallace believes he plays well with anyone, but added that there has been a special connection between him, Sullinger and Olynyk.

“Those are guys that for me personally, stretch the floor,” Wallace said. “They’re able to knock down jumpshots and stretch the floor and open up the lane for me. I’m able to penetrate and get in the middle and kick out to those guys. We compliment each other well on the court.”

One of the qualities that seems to be a common bond between these three, early on at least, is selflessness. Each player has no problem sharing the ball, and wants to reward the other for making a good play. Some of the very basic fundamentals of teamwork, and the kind of characteristics you hope others will see & emulate. Olynyk is all about getting better, and hopes to help others along the way if possible.

“Guys are making hard cuts, setting good screens, you want to reward them for that kind of stuff,” said Olynyk who also had four points and a pair of rebounds. “Anytime you get other people involved and make people around you better, that’s a great thing to do in the game of basketball.”

Said Sullinger: “We’re very different. That’s what makes it fun.”

Having a selfless approach to the game clearly binds all three, which may help explain why the trio was so effective in their first preseason game.

Will be very interesting to see how Stevens uses these three against other teams in the preseason, and which guards he’ll mix & match with them out on the floor.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston:Notebook- Banner Moment For Stevens|Sullinger’s Back In Action|Herald:Perfect Way To Start|Stevens Era Opens With Exhibition Loss|Adams Gets To Know True Rondo|CSNNE:Celtics Defense Has Plenty To Improve On|MassLive:Humphries, Green Hit Treadmill After Celtics Preseason Loss To Raptors|WEEI:Rudy Gay:Rondo Will Be Stronger Than Ever

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  • AYO

    all im sayin is when rondo come back and we got a line up of rondo, jeff green at the 2, wallace, sullinger and olynyk, that is a big ass line up with a whole lotta defense, esp since jeff green and wallace can cover 2-4. idk if he dribbles right every single damn time, when rondo in the game he honestly don’t even need to dribble at all thank god lmao

    as long as olynyk gets solid at defense (start by cutting his hair…. jesus!!) we not a bad team

    • Jester00

      Jeff can not guard a 2 sorry

      • Robert Hodgman

        If Pierce spent the first half of his career guarding 2s then so can Jeff Green. He’s faster, longer, and more athletic than Pierce ever was.
        Don’t get me wrong though, Pierce is thrice the offensive player that Jeff is, but he has that potential on the defensive end.
        I might not use him against elite speedsters, but he can effectively guard probably 80% of the NBA SGs out there.

        • frickenWaaaltah

          Pierce spent only the first few years playing significant time at the 2, and they lost most of those games. He was mostly a SF by the conference finals run in 02.

          At first, they were hoping maybe they could play Pierce at the 2 and Antoine at the 3. But then Antoine’s playing weight of “245” got heavier every year so it didn’t matter anymore and they kept Toine at PF.

          • Robert Hodgman

            During the conference finals run the lineup was often K.Anderson, PP, Toine, Rogers, Battie. Another common lineup featured E. Williams at the 3 with PP at the 2.

      • frickenWaaaltah

        Based on matchups…not a lot of the time, but there are some notable ones, and two in the Atlantic division even: DeRozan in Toronto and Joe Johnson in Brooklyn.

        Beyond that…Kobe for the Lakers, maybe Harden, Jamal Crawford, JJ Redick…anybody 6’5″ and up is a maybe.

        But yeah, smaller 2’s should be too mobile…Ray Allen is 6’5″ but a young Ray was way too mobile for Jeff, he would destroy Jeff from running routes through tight spaces, taking sharp turns, etc.

  • bill_nair

    All 3 are very good passers. With rondo out to start the season I think these 3 will be asked to run the offense for the most part. Very impressed with Gerald last night.

  • Curt Hays

    This is actually a very useful article that makes me mad at NBA League Pass for once again sucking at what they do. (I didn’t get to see the game.)

    • KWAPT

      Thanks Curt-and if it’s any comfort, tomorrow’s game is on national tv. (NBATV at 7:30pm EST)

      • Curt Hays

        thanks for the heads up.

        • KWAPT

          No prob. Also going to post about 10 minutes of last night’s highlights shortly..

  • Raoul

    Any individual that has looked at these player acquisitions without bias since day one, are not surprised at Wallace’s performance, nor Hump’s for that matter.

    • Curt Hays

      I expect Wallace to be better than Paul Pierce would have been.

      • Raoul

        I understand exactly what you mean. Especially in term of “in the long run”.

    • frickenWaaaltah

      You’d have to be biased not to acknowledge that Wallace had a really terrible year last year. People said he was done, and I was one of them, particularly after he was so crushed by the playoff series with the Heat.

      It’d be a nice story in a year that will need nice stories to see him make the most of a new beginning and bounce back from it. This team needs him badly. If he thrives here, all the talk of his ‘bad contract’ will be gone come next summer.

      • Raoul

        I want him and Brooks to do really well. I feel they both deserve the chance, and we need them to hit their potential.