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Celtics Tweets of Interest: Avery Bradley Pro Am Tourney, Jared Sullinger in NCAA Football ’13 (VIDEO)

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The Boston Celtics are currently in the off-season and preparing for life without Doc Rivers, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. This does not mean that the Celtics’ players are not on the court. They are enjoying their time while showing pride for thei native city and college.

Celtics guard Avery Bradley is promoting his Second Annual Avery Bradley Pro Am Tournament this weekend. Bradley uses a video with NBA players such as Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford and Sacramento Kings reserve guard Isaiah Thomas. In the 3-minute video, Bradley has people holding up cards with the sign “Avery Bradley Pro Am.” The event is at Curtis High School in University Place, Washington. Bradley is a native of Tacoma, Washington. Anyone 17 years and older can play. There are 16 teams with raffles and giveaways. Seattle was close to winning a bid for the Kings to relocate, but Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson was able to attract a group who kept the Kings franchise in Sacramento. There are still many players who come from the Seattle area or played at the University of Washington.

Celtics forward Jared Sullinger is representing his alma mater, the Ohio State Buckeyes, in NCAA Football ’13. His Buckeyes hold a two touchdown advantage over Alabama in the third quarter. With Urban Meyer as the head coach at Ohio State, it’s possible these two schools will meet in January for the title. Sullinger’s dream could come true.



Celtics Lose Jared Sullinger For Season

Boston Celtics rookie forward Jared Sullinger was having an impressive season.

Boston Celtics rookie forward Jared Sullinger was having an impressive season.

The injuries continue to shrink the Boston Celtics roster as they lost another key player for the season. Rookie forward Jared Sullinger left in the first quarter of the 99-81 win over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday with back spasms. On Friday, the team announced that he underwent back surgery to fix a disk in his back and he will not return to the court this year.

The 6-foot-9-inch forward is expected to return to training camp in October.  Danny Ainge and Doc Rivers both believe that Sullinger will not be affected on a long-term basis with this injury.

Before the NBA Draft last June, Sullinger was supposed to be a top-10 selection. Teams withdrew from Sullinger because they feared he had a back issue that would limit his career. The Celtics took Sullinger with the 21st overall pick despite the red flags about his back. There was no question Sullinger was a talented player as he led the Ohio State Buckeyes to the Final Four last year.

Sullinger was the Celtics most effective rebounder and the team was running more plays for him in the post as the season wore on. Sullinger’s greatest contribution was getting second-chance points off the glass and his teammates were impressed with Sullinger’s intelligence. He was averaging 6.0 points and 5.9 rebounds in 19.8 minutes per game. In January, Sullinger averaged seven points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He was just inserted into the starting lineup in Sunday’s double overtime victory over the Miami Heat.

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Jared Sullinger Plays Big Role for Celtics’ Reserves

Boston Celtics forward seemed to be getting to every loose rebound against Marcin Gortat and the Phoenix Suns last Wendesday.

Boston Celtics forward seemed to be getting to every loose rebound against Luis Scola and the Phoenix Suns on January 9th.

It is no coincidence that the Boston Celtics won six consecutive games (before they fell to the New Orleans Hornets on Wednesday) because of their improvements on the defensive end. The Celtics are getting consistent production from their bench and the rebounding of rookie forward Jared Sullinger.

Sullinger posted double digit rebounds in wins over the Phoenix Suns (16) and the Houston Rockets (11). The 6-foot-9-inch forward has accumulated most of his boards on the offensive end and he has helped the Celtics get out of last place in offensive rebounding.

During the winning streak, Sullinger averaged nearly 10 points and nine rebounds per game. He also corralled 21 offensive rebounds in this stretch against players such as Tyson Chandler of the New York Knicks, Atlanta Hawks’ Josh Smith and Al Horford, and the duo of Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola of the Suns.

Despite Sullinger being undersized, he is able to outmuscle bigger players with a big lower mass that is able to push opponents away from the basket. He is also able to do this on the defensive end of the court.

Teammates have praised Sullinger for his basketball intelligence, his interior passing, and the ability to score. Sullinger can also make 15-foot jumpers outside the paint. Most of Sullinger’s scoring has come from within five feet of the basket because he has strong post moves and of his rebounding ability.

At the beginning of the year, the Celtics believed they had strong depth inside with Sullinger or Brandon Bass and Darko Milicic as reserves along with Chris Wilcox. The Celtics lost Milicic because he went back to Serbia to take care of his ailing mother. Bass has struggled with inconsistency. Wilcox suffered a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his thumb and has been out since December 18th. Bass was just reinserted into the starting lineup and Jason Collins is playing limited minutes due to nagging injuries. This has left Sullinger to be a force and to play a big role in the reserve unit.

The biggest reason why Sullinger has struggled is his propensity to accumulate fouls early. This issue has not gone away since Sullinger fouled out in the final minute in the 103-91 victory over the Rockets last Friday. He committed three fouls in the first half of the 100-89 win over the Charlotte Bobcats on Monday. He also got into early foul trouble against the Hornets. Officials will pick on Sullinger because he is a rookie. Sullinger’s size forces him to be physical when defending taller forwards, which means he will get called if the officials are calling a tight game.

At this time last year, Sullinger was battling injuries while playing for the Ohio State Buckeyes against Big Ten competition. He fell to the 21st pick in the 2012 NBA Draft in June because teams were worried about his back and conditioning problems.  Now, he is in the running for Rookie of the Year while helping the Celtics climb back into the Eastern Conference race. Currently, the Celtics are in seventh place in the Eastern Conference, but they are just four and a half games behind the Eastern Conference-leading Miami Heat.

Sullinger has provided the Celtics with energy off the bench. If the Celtics continue to win, they will also need continued production from Sullinger.