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The Zeller brothers: Tyler, Cody, and Luke
Last week, the Boston Celtics acquired Tyler Zeller from Cleveland, a young, 7-footer who got limited minutes playing under Mike Brown. We don't really know too much about him aside from his stat line (his per 36-minute stats last year were 13.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 54% FG, 15.4 PER).

The Boston Globe's Gary Washburn tweeted out a few tidbits today to help us get to know Zeller a little better. To give us a bit of insight on Tyler's personal life, Washburn spoke with Tyler's youngest brother Cody, who plays for the Charlotte Hornets, and earned NBA 2nd Team All-Rookie honors last season.

Cody informed Washburn that Tyler was excited to play in Boston (and will also presumably get more playing time than his days in Cleveland), and apparently got married several days after the trade. Cody also revealed that his family knows Celtics head coach Brad Stevens pretty well from recruiting trips that older brothers Tyler and Luke made to Butler University. Stevens would play H-O-R-S-E with Cody while his older brothers toured the campus, and according to Cody, they were pretty even on the scorecard: "We'd go back and forth (in wins). He can shoot it though."

From Gary Washburn:






Although Tyler opted to attend UNC over Butler University, Stevens is pretty familiar with his style of play, and recently described some of Zeller's strengths and weaknesses:

"First and foremost, I think he's a great transition rim-runner," he said. "I think he can really get out and fly up and down the court. And I think that showed itself a lot at North Carolina. A guy with his skill can score on the block but also stretch the defense and has enough handle and savvy to play facing the basket. And you can kind of play around him -- not too dissimilar from some of other big guys that we have now. He's 7-foot, 250 pounds, and takes really good care of himself and is an invested pro."

"We've talked about how, in an ideal world, Sullinger plays the 4," Stevens said. "At the same time, I think Tyler would be the first to tell you he's not going to block shots like [Dikembe] Mutumbo or some of the great shot-blockers in the history of the game. He's more of a position defender. He's a strong guy. He's an agile guy. He can move his feet laterally. But he's not necessarily a huge shot-blocker at the rim.

"Now, there are different ways to affect drives," he continued. "You can meet people outside the circle. You can jump straight up and still affect them with your strength and size if they go into your body, as long as you're vertical. That will be more of what he has to do." 

Once Zeller arrives in Boston, we can get a better idea of who he is and how he can contribute on the court for the Celtics. Follow him on Twitter @ZellerTyler.

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Danielle Hobeika 7/14/2014 10:06:00 PM Edit
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