Boston Celtics rookie power forward Jared Sullinger had a great opening game this past weekend against Turkish team Fenerbache Ulker. This was the Celtics exhibition opener and even though the team lost, there were some real nice tale away points from the game. Sullinger had 16 points and 8 rebounds and that’s not too shabby for a rookie, particulary a rookie on the Celtics roster. Head coach Doc Rivers has not been known to play rookies too often throughout his career, but Sullinger is making a strong case to crack the rotation this year. The Celtics haven’t had a player like Sullinger since former Celtic Leon Powe, who was revered in Boston for his energy and effort off the bench. Sullinger is a different player, as Powe is quicker and slightly more athletic. But Sullinger is a bull in the post and the Celtics haven’t had a true post up threat in quite some time. I guess you could say Glen Davis is somewhat like that, but you and I both know he isn’t the definition of a true “post player.” Sullinger will be nice because if you throw it to him in the post, he will either have a one on one matchup, or he could attract a double team, leaving open the threat of a three point shot by Paul Pierce and company.
As we have touched upon in the past, Sullinger also brings a strong rebounding presence to the team. Even though he isn’t an above the rim player, he finds excellent position on either side of the floor for a rebound. The one negative that he will have to overcome is his lack of length, as taller players could give him some trouble.
Sullinger had a great opening weekend, but let I remind you that it was one game in the preseason. Either way, the Celtics have to continue to be thrilled that Sulinger is on their roster as it gives them a young building block for the present and for the future.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news check out the Celtics team page on Rant Sports. Follow him on twitter at @rlunder18