Jared Sullinger was a bigtime college scorer and if he provides that in Boston, nobody will complain. But if there's one area of the game that he can really fill a need, it is on the glass.
As a rookie on a veteran squad, Sullinger is ready to embrace his place among his teammates and contribute wherever he can. A dedicated rebounder (he averaged 10.2 boards per game last season), Sullinger is looking forward to crashing the boards and helping the team with second-chance points. The Celtics are looking forward to him doing that as well. They finished last in the league in rebounding last season. "I’ve got to find other opportunities to score," said Sullinger. "Like I tell everybody, rebounding is one of my strong suits of basketball. I’ve got to get ready for rebounding. Hopefully you don’t miss a lot, but if you do, hopefully I’m there to clean it up."
I gotta tell ya, I'm legitimately excited about this. I mean, in general I excited about Sullinger as an overall talent, but specifically I'm giddy over the fact that he's a rebounder.
He doesn't just give it lip service. It isn't "something he's working on." It not on his to-do list. He's good at it. Even more, he likes it! And did I mention that he's good at it? And that I'm giddy?!!
I know all the caveats. He's a rookie, he's got health red flags, he has trouble with taller opponents, yadda yadda yadda. Kid can play and he's gonna rebound from day one.
Yeah, he's a rookie, but believe it or not, Doc does play rookies. Remember Leon Powe and Big Baby? This guy is most likely going to be better than either one.
So maybe he isn't the tallest drink of water. Who cares? He's got a keg for a rear end that he'll back up into those taller glasses and claim the ball for himself.
There's nothing we can do if he does get injured or aggravate the back issue, but that's the risk you run with every athlete anyway. I'll take my chances on this kid.
And this might be the last time I can get away with calling him "kid" as well, because based on all the interviews I've read and seen, he's mature and level headed beyond his years.
Did I mention that he's good at rebounding???