Doc Rivers has said that he would experiment with various starting lineups and riding a two game losing streak it must have seemed like as good a time as any to try Jared Sullinger in the starting lineup. In particular against a young and injury plagued Washington Wizards lineup.
Sully finished with just 4 points and got winded later in the game, but he did provide a spark that the team needed - in particular on the glass where he grabbed 7 boards (KG and PIerce each also had 7 to lead the team).
"That was one of the other reasons we wanted Jared in the lineup, because Brandon’s another scorer in a lot of ways, and now you have too many in your starting lineup," said Rivers. "Now Brandon can come in and score with the second unit. He got a ton of wide-open shots tonight. I think that helped him, too, knowing that when you come in with that group you’re going to get shots." Said Garnett of opening with Sullinger: "He brings a different component, more importantly rebounding. He knows how to play without the ball. He’s a great passer. He blends well with our starting group." As for getting fatigued, Sullinger said, "When you play that hard, you automatically get tired. I just called for a sub, and of course we’ve got Brandon, so nothing dropped off."
I like that team-first attitude he puts in there as well. He's got Brandon's back even if he's (temporarily or not) taking his job.
I was mostly in favor of waiting till mid season for a change like this and I'm still not sure that I like the idea of messing with 3 different starting lineups, but I can definitely see the benefits to having Sully in the starting lineup. He rebounds and plays on the block which frees KG to spend more time in his sweet spot near the elbows. Then Bass can add scoring to the 2nd unit and relieve Jeff Green from having to play too much at the 4.
Time will tell if Sullinger can stick in the starting lineup or if Doc will continue to tinker with it all year.