The Boston Celtics defeated the Washington Wizards last night 89-86 in Washington, D.C. The Celtics lead for most of the game and as a result earned their first victory of the season. The game was a struggle, even with the Wizards missing John Wall and getting no shows from Trevor Ariza and Emeka Okafor.
Head coach Doc Rivers changed things up last night and started Jared Sullinger in place of Brandon Bass. This was a move that I figured would happen at some point, but did not think would happen this soon. I felt that he would go to Jeff Green first to start at the four in replace of Bass, but it just goes to show how far the rookie has come.
Sullinger fell into their laps with the 21st pick in the NBA Draft because of back issues and boy does it look like a great pick thus far. He didn’t have the greatest performance last night, only finishing with 4 points and 7 rebounds in 32 minutes, but he has still showed plenty of promise. The number of minutes he received was the biggest take away point and indicates that he could be in line for a lot of minutes in the future.
As had been discussed throughout the off-season, Sullinger offers something unique this team hasn’t had in a long time: a true rebounding presence.
It remains to be seen whether or not this is a permanent move or if it was done based on matchups. I think Bass will be back in the starting lineup real soon, but quite frankly, it really doesn’t matter a whole lot. Bass still played 28 minutes in the win over Washington and will still play a prominent role in the team’s season.
Rivers has many different lineup options at his disposal and will surely make more changes as the season progresses.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team homepage on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18