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.
Celtics big man Jared Sullinger is getting a bit more attention on the floor these days, and he’s not the least bit happy about it. When you start scoring and rebounding the way he has lately, teams are bound to make changes in how they defend you. That adjustment often comes in the form of double teams, the kind of change that speaks to how Sullinger has emerged as a player.
A. Sherrod Blakely-Sullinger Starting To Deal With Double Teams
On an off day for the Celtics, (finally thank goodness) what better to talk about than the emergence of Jared Sullinger. Going into this season, we weren’t really sure what to expect from Sully. Coming off of back surgery and also having his domestic violence incident, some folks either flat out didn’t want him around and others simply thought he was destined to fail. Well surprise, surprise. Sully has been arguably the team’s most valuable player so far this young season, and has played his best basketball as a pro.
Many NBA owners/GMs were weary of drafting Sullinger, after NBA doctors “red flagged” him due to back issues in June of 2012. Front office folk were advised against drafting him in the first-round, and on draft night, he fell to the 21st pick where Danny Ainge and the Celtics swooped him up.
Nine months later, Sullinger is averaging 13 points and 7 rebounds a game, and teams are starting to take notice. He’s being double teamed, which for Jared is nothing new. He’s seen it in high school, AAU and when he was at Ohio State. And one of the reasons the Celtics drafted him in the first place is his ability to find open guys. Sullinger has great court vision-a phrase normally used to describe a point guard.
Because he has seen his share of double teams dating all the way back to AAU ball, Sullinger learned at an early age how to use that to his advantage. He is smart enough to know that when teams double him, he has to make them pay by getting the ball into the hands of the open teammate.
Considered one of the Celtics’ better passers regardless of position, it opens up another aspect of his game that has the potential to help the Celtics win games.
It’s been fun watching Sully flourish early this season. As Rajon Rondo approaches his return, and guys like Jordan Crawford continue to play well, the C’s will have themselves a nice little nucleus of talent going forward. And I personally believe that Sullinger is only going to get better as time goes on. He’s constantly trying to improve, and has even started working at making a three point shot part of his arsenal. The sky is the limit with this kid.
Page 2: The Knicks continue to stink it up
Who would’ve thought that at this point in the season the Celtics would have twice as many wins as the Knicks? Well the guys in orange and blue lost another one last night, this time to the New Orleans Pelicans. The final minute or so was a sh*t show of Tim Hardaway Jr. and Carmelo Anthony hucking up threes and missing badly. There are 8 million stories in the naked city, and right now the Knicks are one of the bad ones.
Nine straight losses? No big deal. Seven straight defeats at the Garden? What, exactly, is all the fuss about? Philly lost again on Sunday. The Raptors got slaughtered at home by Denver.
The Knicks? The Knicks fell to New Orleans at the Garden, 103-99. They hit some early 3-pointers, then missed five straight in the final seconds. They could never create separation on the scoreboard, couldn’t get the big stops. Defensively – and we are using that term loosely – they lost their men often on the perimeter and on switches inside.
The rest of the links:
Boston Herald: Weary Celtics Take A Rest|