Heading into the off-season, weight loss wasn't necessarily one of Jared Sullinger's goals. Instead, he wanted to focus on his conditioning and being able to give first quarter effort in the fourth. Well, it seems to be working. After having back surgery that cut his rookie campaign short, Sullinger entered last season in a disadvantageous position, but looks forward heading into October's training camp healthy and in shape:
"They shut me down," Sullinger said. "I couldn't play until (last) September. Forgoing basketball with contact, playing one-on-one, things like that, so I was kind of behind the eight ball. And I stayed behind the eight ball. This year, I'm kind of in front of the eight ball right now, hopefully hitting the corner pocket. So, we'll see."
Check out Sully's slimmer look:
So great to see my twin @Jared_Sully0 today!!!! #Celtics #March4bdays pic.twitter.com/B8j1ITejOB— Emily Austen (@emilyausten_) September 5, 2014
Asked if he's lost weight this offseason, Jared Sullinger says "Maybe" with a smile. Jokes that he can't reveal all his secrets.— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 5, 2014
Jared Sullinger looking fit today while working with the kids at Hennigan School in Jamaica Plain. pic.twitter.com/mtgdMcZk8D— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) September 5, 2014
Another glimpse of Sullinger as he works with the students. pic.twitter.com/k8V1Ejggjd— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 5, 2014
#Celtics' Jared Sullinger and Walter McCarty working with kids on fundamentals at Hennigan Elementary in Boston pic.twitter.com/VbZVPl55dZ— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) September 5, 2014
Sullinger and Walter holding a little youth clinic in Jamaica Plain today. pic.twitter.com/GhqgqGMGOQ— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) September 5, 2014
Jared Sullinger here at Hennigan elementary school in Jamaica Plain for clinic with students. pic.twitter.com/tRIDL9rRaM— Chris Forsberg (@ESPNForsberg) September 5, 2014
The weight loss isn't exactly a predictor of future success, but if we're still going with the Kevin Love comparison, it wasn't until Love lost 25 pounds in the summer of the lockout season that his numbers really made a jump to star status and it's that kind of progression that the Celtics are looking for from the third year man. Sully averaged 27.6 minutes per game last year and if he's in better shape, you can expect him in the mid-30's next season.