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Sullinger will improve once he moves to power forward

Posted by shawn cassidy on December 5, 2013 at 3:00 AM

When will the Celtics have a real center? Brad Stevens tried with Vitor when the season started, but his role was best suited for the bench. The Celtics once again are undersized up front when it comes to having a true center. Humphries doesn't fit that role and Olynyk is not even close despite being listed a seven feet.

Brad Stevens has juggled the front court many times this year with almost every big starting this year besides Humphries. Sullinger has started 8, Vitor has 8 starts, Olynyk has 6 starts, and Bass with a big man lead of 18. I'll be honest this is the front court that I want starting. I like Kelly but I don't see him as a starter just yet. Maybe Brad wanted Kelly to start with the starting unit to get him going in the game.

Bass and Sully have been doing a fine job together, and Stevens is doing what he can do with this short front court.


Turning them into a successful duo was one of the coach’s greatest challenges. Individually, each deserved major playing time. Bass had been a starter basically since arriving in Boston; his midrange jump shooting and dependability would both be major assets for a young team. Sullinger was coming off a productive rookie campaign; his full skill set and savvy on both ends would make him essential in the lineup.

But Stevens saw why his two best big men had failed together. Sullinger rarely defended centers last season and lacks both height and mobility, so pairing him with Bass, an undersized power forward, had served up trouble. Bass is a versatile defender, but was not always great at affecting matters from the weak side – he benefited significantly (like everyone did) from playing next to Garnett, who made up for many mistakes.

As Stevens put it, “They’re both 6-7 or 6-8 in a league where you’re not playing against those guys at the four and the five.”

Sully's dad spoke about Sullinger's role with the Celtics as an undersized center. He said his son couldn't lose weight because that would hurt him when he plays center. He said once Sully goes back to power forward Sullinger will lose the weight.

“They do use their advantages well,” Stevens said of Bass and Sullinger, “but at the same time they’re small so we’ve got to be great around them at doing those other little things – specifically, stopping the ball at the point of attack and then rebounding. Guards have to rebound for us to be good.”

Sullinger's rebounding has improved all season. Bass is  who he is when it comes to rebounding, but he's been good overall on the glass. Overall Sully I believe will be great once he's able to play more at the four. Although I don't know how much weight he'll lose or if he can guard some quicker power forwards.

The NBA has become small ball crazy in the past five years, and I still think the better teams have bigs though. I get the feeling that Danny isn't big on centers, but more into bigs who can shoot the ball and that are scrappy. I do miss having a center who's actually a center. Rondo plays with bigs that are like Shaq or Wilcox. The Celtics don't have that type of center, one that's able to dunk in the post.

I really think Sully can improve if he plays power forward full-time.

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1 Comment

Reply celtsfan
1:24 PM on December 5, 2013 
Sully has been MVP and when ever Sully gets a strong center who knows how well he'll be.