Updated: October 17, 2012
BOSTON, MA. (BASN)—Jared Sullinger has been a player I have watched since he first hit the scene at Ohio State and when I heard about him entering the NBA Draft after his Final Four run I was very excited because, he was one of the elite college players that every night put his team on his back and deserved it. Jared is the type of player that gives 110% every time he steps on the court and showed it in his two seasons at OSU. Going into the draft Jared was flagged by many teams because, of a back problem which was putting a dark cloud on his lottery status. The Boston Celtics chose talent over risk when they selected Jared Sullinger with the 21st pick and granted his dream of becoming an NBA player. This is Jared’s underdog moment all the teams that had passed him up he was now going to show them exactly what they missed out on when they didn’t draft him and was going to play his butt off to make them pay. Jared had showed promise in the Pro Summer League in Orlando and has blossomed into a player that can dominate a game given the opportunity and the right position in the box. Jared is in the right place at the right time to be on the Celtics team playing alongside Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce that is only going to make him a better player and he has already shown that he is here to stay and play in this league in my opinion.
Jared’s going to go through his growing pains this season there is no question about that as some of the players that he is seeing for the first time in the league are doing some incredible moves that he didn’t see last season in the NCAA. Jared is going to only get better and quicker and leaner and with the great Celtics staff and the way that KG and Bass prepare for games its only going to be a matter of time before it rubs off on Sullinger. Mark my words by around All Star weekend Sullinger will be a huge part of this team and I can see him being the vocal point of the Celtics second unit with Jason Terry. Sullinger brings his bullying mentality on the boards and also brings his smooth scoring to the table backed with a great basketball IQ. Jared knows where to be at the right time and knows how to screen and pop at the right time. Sullingers drive and motivation is going to be the doubters and haters that thought he was a risk in the first place and I believe he will shower the Celtics fans with some good times and bad times but, every rookie is going to have their growing pains which they go through to become a better player.
Sullinger has had some moments where it shows that he is still trying to gel with the team and gain chemistry as he has had moments where he bumped into players on plays and there have even been times that he has gotten beaten to the basket but, for every bad moment Sullinger has backed it up with an impressive moment. His impressive moments that had me really say that he is going to be something special were when he was setting up pick and pops on Bynam which is considered one of the best big men in the league and also his ability to beat his man up and down the court every time just out running his opponents. Jared has impressed me the most with his ability to rebound in the NBA so far especially in the offensive rebounding department which is a place that the Celtics have lacked in many of the previous years. The Celtics as a whole unit were never a team that was able to get 2nd chance buckets and grab that rebound when they needed to close out a game and I believe that Sullinger has the potential to lead this team in the rebounding department and give them a double-double per night whether Jared comes off the bench for Bass or if he starts over Bass it can happen and it should happen.
The expectations for Jared are very high in the eyes of a Boston fan they expect any player they draft first to be an instant impact player which down the road we didn’t get instant we got prospect players. Most of the prospect players we drafted had to either get traded for a better right now player or were released because, they didn’t make the proper strides to be successful. In Jared’s case we have a “PTP” as Dick Vitale would say a Prime Time Player which is someone when the lights go on they are ready to play and are ready to do whatever it takes to win the game for his team. Jared’s role is going to change because every team he previously played for he was the man but, in this situation Jared is in the shadow of Hall of Famers which I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind at one bit. Jared will go as far as his will and drive will let him go and in my opinion it is going to just go up as I believe he will lead all rookies in rebounding and he will lead all rookies in double-doubles you may say I’m pushing it a little bit too much but, to the person that say’s that my reply would be check his preseason stats and also check his demand on the post block every time he has gotten the ball on a one on one in the post he has been productive and with the coaching of Doc Rivers in his ear the sky is the limit for Jared Sullinger in the league but he will have to go through his growing pains because in order to be successful you have to make mistakes and capitalize on them twice as good as you were before that mistake and he has the potential to be a beast for the Celtics.
Jared Sullinger is averaging 10.8 points a game and 7.2 rebounds so far this preseason and I predict in the regular season he will average close to a double-double with 12 points and 9 rebounds per night for the Boston Celtics and as a rookie that is impressive especially playing for a team that had just been in the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago.