|Posted by shawn cassidy on November 21, 2013 at 5:10 AM|
Brad Stevens gave an opportunity to Sullinger after inserting Sully into the starting unit for the first time this season. Sullinger rewarded his rookie coach by pulling down a career-high 17 rebounds. Sullinger also scored his second highest output with 19 points Wednesday night. Sully's career high of 26 points was against Portland recently, and it's another sign that Sullinger is becoming something special.
Sully squared off against one of the greatest players of all-time. Tim Duncan was not up for the task, and he looked off all night. Duncan did score two quick baskets in the first minutes of the game, but after that Sullinger had his way. The one thing that Sullinger has that sets him apart is the confidence that he has.
Brad Stevens comment on the age gap between Duncan and his forwards. "I was thinking, Tim Duncan is almost Jared (Sullinger) and Kelly (Olynyk) combined (in age)." Sully is on his way. If he can slim down, and if he can stay healthy. Sullinger has a chance to be a big time player. I think out of all the young guys on the Celtics. Sullinger has the most potential. What about the combo of Sully and Kelly after their first start together.
In 121 minutes of floor time, the Sullinger/Olynyk combo is plus-6 (not bad considering Boston has been outscored by 74 points overall this season). The advanced stats on the pairing are not particularly glossy, including a defensive rating of 104.1 (but that's only 1.5 points higher than Boston's season average). Boston's offensive rating with the pair (100.3) is a respectable 4.3 points better than the season average, and Boston rebounds at a rate that would put it among the league leaders in defensive and total rebounding percentages with that combo on the court. Maybe the most encouraging sign is that Boston's pace -- middle of the pack for the season (96.86 possessions per 48 minutes) -- leaps to 102.33 with Olynyk and Sullinger together. That would be tops in the league if maintained.