The job of a blogger trying to find any insignificant reason to make his way onto this site never sleeps. As a result, we have a lot to get to. First, with a change of scenery we saw the Celtics basically left their effort in Utah, and this morning we have some news about Sullinger that was maybe more a matter of time than anything else. Let’s get started
If Saturday’s loss to the Bulls reminded you of something, that something was Celtics basketball. You know how many many times we’ve seen an effort like that? About a gazillion. Tell me the Celtics shot under 40%, turned the ball over, and got outrebounded by almost 20 rebounds and I’d bethink you were talking about any regular season game over the last four years. Such a Celtics performance it almost made me love it. Shoot the ball in horrific fashion to start, get behind by double digits, play sound defense to keep it close, work your way back by halftime, end the game with horrific shooting and lose by nine. Tell me that wasn’t the blueprint we saw all year. Eerie stuff.
After playing with less than a full squad in Utah, things got back to normal with Brown and RJ both available. Going in I was excited to see Brown vs Valentine, and coming out I felt Brown held his own. Unfortunately, for some reason Bobby Portis is playing in the summer league and he absolutely destroyed the Celtics from the opening tip. He’s a good player, so that didn’t surprise me, but it was the way that the domination happened that made my ear perk up a little bit.
Everybody knows the Celts need rebounding help. The hope would be maybe Mickey can come in and fill that role. Well, after seeing how easy it was for both Bobby Portis and Jack Cooley to get to the offensive glass I am no longer as convinced. Mickey was completely manhandled by both of these dudes throughout the whole night. Watching the Celtics try and get a defensive rebound was like watching kids among men. This loss was more about effort than anything else, the Bulls just had more of it and everybody knew it.
It wasn’t all bad though. There were still some bright spots to take away, and we begin with what we saw again from Jaylen. The shooting is still shitty, he missed some layups and an easy dunk, but he again showed how he can get to the rim at ease. Defensively he moved well, despite the sore knee and if you happened to be like all of Twitter cumming yourself over that Kriss Dunn missed crossover jumper, may I present to you what it looks like when someone actually makes it
Brown also made a couple threes, and overall I’m really happy with how his form looks so far this summer. Everything looks pretty compact, and while the release is still a little slow, there are worse bases to build from. At least he didn’t go 0-9 like Valentine did.
When I woke up yesterday I had a feeling that Yabu was going to win by heart by the end of it. Fortunately for me, that’s exactly what happened. His back to back threes early in the game are what gave the Celts life after they couldn’t hit a damn shot, and everything from his defense, to his rebounding, I find myself falling in love harder and harder after every game. The plan might still be to stash him, but if he continues this pace, there’s almost no way Danny can keep him off the roster, or out of the All Star game, and eventually the HOF. I fully admit, when the pick happened, I had no words. It wasn’t so much the player they took, because nobody knew who the hell he was, but when he was taken that I had the problem with. Well, Danny,if a handful of meaningless summer league games tells us anything, you were right.
As he’s done all summer, Terry Rozier continues to not only have the best summer of his life, but the best summer of the entire team. The knock on him has been his jumper, but he shot it well again yesterday (6-10) and is making his case for serious minutes once October rolls around. He hit the glass (5) defended well (3 steals) and most of all, right after the game ended was the first to take responsibility with how pathetic they played. That’s probably what I loved most about his afternoon. Taking the leadership role and telling it like it is.
Now I want to be fair. I’m not going to be one of those James Young apologists that only talks about when he plays well. He stunk yesterday. That strip on his breakaway was not exactly encouraging. The problem is most people will take a look at this game and say this is who he is, and ignore the games he played well. I’m not going to overreact to this, other than to say this is what we need to happen. We need him to play well, face adversity, and bounce back. Utah was encouraging, I am going to need a solid Vegas too.
Now, to the other significant news of the day…
Can’t say this is a surprise, but is certainly interesting nonetheless. If this is fact the end of the Jared Sullinger Era of the Boston Celtics, it’s been one hell of a ride. When Sully came in after the 2012 Draft, many considered him a steal at that spot. His back injury bug did come back to bite him, which was always the concern coming out of college, but overall I think Celtics fans should be happy with the production that we got. He’s by far their best rebounder, both on the offensive and defensive glass, he spaced the floor, and play with a high basketball IQ. The problem fans have with Sullinger isn’t so much basketball related, as it is everything else.
The weight. That’s where people feel cheated. Every summer we are told stories about how hard he’s working out with John Lucas, how great of shape he’s in. We’ll see a couple pictures on Twitter shot at certain angles that make him look fantastic. Then the season starts, and there’s virtually no change. At no point during his tenure did he ever average more than 27 minutes a night. What didn’t help is him getting hurt, which fans felt could have been avoided had he been in actual NBA shape. I think things reached a boiling point this ATL Hawks series when he pretty much couldn’t even be on the floor, because of how much quicker guys like Horford/Millsap were.
So what does this move actually mean? Does this guarantee that Yabu made the roster since they are basically the same player? Or does this mean that Trader Danny is about to live up to his name and make a move for a big man. Spend three seconds searching on Twitter and you’ll see rumors for Vucevic, or Boogie, which for the right price I am absolutely in on. But I think it’s worth mentioning, just because he’s now a URFA doesn’t mean Sully doesn’t come back on like a one year deal or something. Who knows what’s out there right now for big men on the FA landscape, and this might be his best option.
Whatever you think of Sullinger, maybe you’re happy he’s gone, just take a second to think back to what that 2012 Draft class was. Sullinger, Melo, and Kris Joseph.Not exactly a murderer’s row of talent, so the fact that Sullinger actually turned out to be a legit NBA player is a positive. People love to get on him for the Hawks series, and forget he averaged 13/7 on 55% shooting against CLE in his first ever playoff series in 2014-15.
If this is farewell, then Sully I thank you for your time as a member of the Boston Celtics, and wish you nothing but the best.