|Posted by paul on July 28, 2012 at 10:10 PM|
I'm very excited about Jared Sullinger. I recognize that he seemed to have some problems scoring effectively in the later stages of the summer leagues. There are real questions about how effective a scorer he will be at the level of the real NBA. If you can't put the ball in the hole when you are banging around with other rooks, what will you be able to do against bona fide NBA monsters?
But what is so striking about Sullinger is his persistence. He keeps going at it, and if he doesn't get his shot off, he gets fouled quite often, so he has already started to master one of the key skills for the NBA. He reminds me a lot of Dave Cowens.
Yeah, I know, EVERYONE reminds me of Dave Cowens! But Cowens was 6'8", or 6'9", like Sullinger. Wes Unseld might be a better comparison, in that he was not much of a leaper, whereas Cowens was a leaper, and Unseld was rather broad in the caboose and liked to use that to his advantage, like Sullinger. Still, I like the Cowens comparison. Cowens was not at all afraid to stray from the basket, shooting long distance, or even running the offense from the extended elbow area, but he really liked to bang bodies in the low post, and he loved to rebound. Cowens didn't really have Sullinger's fallaway jumper, or his gift for getting fouled, but he had a great hookshot to the middle, like Sullinger. I think he could hook from more positions than Sullinger, and he had a nifty spin move to the basket. Cowens never shot for a great percentage, but he was still the foundation of the Celtics' offense.
The main thing I see is the attitude. I see the nose for rebounds. I see the determination to take possession of the low post. I hate to go out on a limb (lol), but I think Sullinger might end up being more of a center than a power forward. The way he loves to go after rebounds is something special, and the way he likes to claim the low post - to me, that is the mentality of a true center, and it's rarely seen in the NBA these days. I just love watching Sullinger, frankly! I think Rondo is going to love him too. He finally has a big man who is all about controlling the boards and dominating the paint around the basket, a big man whom you don't have to beg to get down to the blocks. Hell, you practically have to pry him out of there! I can't wait to see those guys playing off each other. Sullinger's not a bad passer himself...
You could almost say that Sullinger is to the offensive end what Perkins is to the defensive end; if he can learn more defense than Perkins learned offense...