Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
During Saturday’s game, Sullinger grabbed an absurd 42.9 percent of all available defensive rebounds during his 24 minutes, 31 seconds of floor time. That’s only slightly above his norm over the past seven games, a span in which Sullinger has reached double figures in rebounding six times while posting five double-doubles.
Sullinger has grabbed 35.8 percent of all available defensive boards in that seven-game span. That’s a number that, if maintained, would rank Sullinger among the NBA’s elite defensive rebounders. For comparison’s sake, rebound magnet Andre Drummond leads the league with a defensive rebound percentage of 34.3 and only four players are north of 30 percent.
The No. 21 pick in the 2012 draft will turn 24 next month. He’s still maturing as a player and person. But he seems to be embracing his role and his body — especially his backside that’s helping him on both sides of the ball lately.
“That’s a blessing my mom gave me,” Sullinger said. “She gave me her booty, so I can give all the credit to my mama.”
I’ll never think of a Jared Sullinger rebound in the same way again – Nice rebound, Sully — Thank your mom’s butt for me!
This seems like an opportune time to stop and appreciate Sullinger (CSNNE did the same thing on a slow news day in between home games) seeing as the Celtics have felt and needed his presence more than usual in the wake of Kelly Olynyk’s shoulder injury.
Remember — in September, we were writing Sully’s obituary. After a summer spent in Houston under the tutelage of John Lucas, Sully came back looking pretty much the same and found himself buried on a front-court depth chart behind Tyler Zeller and David Lee. Zeller’s name was the one engendering hypothetical extension talks as a 2016 restricted free agent. Sullinger? Most would have been cool jettisoning him out of town.
Now? In order to keep Sullinger long-term the Cs will have to shell out a pretty penny. It’s hard to ballpark exact numbers given the meteoric rise the salary cap will take, but the price should be well over $10 million per year. Sully is a versatile offensive big — comfortable stepping out to the three point line to help stretch the floor, but just as willing to bang down low and score in the paint off post-ups and put-backs.
His biggest skill, as Forsberg points out, is his rebounding ability. He is one of the few Celtics I remember that can make me audibly excited when he comes down with a rebound. His technique is flawless and as was the case on Saturday with Hassan Whiteside, he is able to to erase most second chance opportunities for far taller, longer players.
So, from 12th man -potentially- this fall, to starter throughout much of the season, it’s well past time to give Sully his due. He might not be around next season for us all to do the same.
Related links: CSNNE – Sullinger makes a large under-the-radar impact
On page 2, expect a strong effort tonight with the Jazz in town
Marcus Smart nodded at the mention of the loss to the Jazz.
“It’s still fresh,” Smart said. “We understand what’s at stake, and we’re all competitors, so this is a game we really want.
“We’ve just got to get ready to make Gobert guard and make all those guys guard. We have to move the ball better on the offensive end than we did out there.”
Jared Sullinger is confident things will be different this time around.
“The big thing is we’ve got our legs back. We’re done being on break,” Sullinger said. “It’s kind of hard when you come off break and you’re on the road and . . . There really ain’t no excuses. They really outplayed us, but we know what we have to do.”
Herald – Payback opportunity comes quickly
The Celtics are red hot at home. The Celtics were dominated in Utah just a week and a half ago. The Celtics still seem angry about it. The Celtics should win by double figures tonight.
Last time the Jazz visited Boston, it was Brad Stevens’ wizardry that won them the game on a Tyler Zeller lay-up with little time left. Let’s hope they save the drama this time.
And finally, air Stevens (presented without comment)