"I'll take worthless awards for $200 Alex."
"You may be the best baller on the court, but the score doesn't count."
"What is preseason MVP?"
A few years ago we were treated with Doc calling Jermaine O'Neal the "MVP of training camp." We all know how that turned out. Last year Jeff Green looked fabulous in preseason but as soon as the real games started, he stopped (or took two big steps backward). We're all hoping that the exact opposite is happening this year but only time will tell.
So all of that is to say "take this with the appropriate grains of salt," but so far Jared Sullinger has performed as well as any Celtic in the preseason.
He’s the Celtics’ leading scorer (12.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.5 rpg). He was slightly more subdued last night with 12 points and five rebounds during the team’s first win of the preseason under Stevens, beating the Knicks, 111-81. But for those wondering about the best Celtic during the four games of this preseason, it is quite possibly the same guy who said he wasn’t "close" on the first day of training camp.
He probably does need to shed some more pounds and get his wind better, but there's time for all that. What he's shown is that he's got the instincts and smarts to play even when his body isn't at tip-top shape.
The funny thing is, I don't really know how many plays are called with him in mind as the primary scoring option. He grabs offensive boards, he's a good release valve for cutters that hit too much traffic, and he knows where to be on the court to move the ball around. He even showed a willingness to take his coach's advice and launch a few three pointers (adding that to his game would be pretty nice if he can hit it consistently and not fall too much in love with it ...right Antoine?).
So far so good for Sullinger. Hoping to see him continue to develop and grow (...and shrink) this year.