While it is foolish to put too much stock into the glorified
scrimmages that are the Orlando Summer League, the Celtics newest rookie class
was on display for the first time in Green and White. While Fab Melo was the
raw, work-in-progress that many expected following the draft, 21st Pick
Jared Sullinger and 2nd Round swingman Kris Joseph saw extensive
minutes over the four games this week.
Of most interest is Sullinger, the All-American and top pick
of Danny Ainge. Measuring in at a bulky 6’9, Sully had an up and down week as
can be expected when the rookies are thrown into the fire. He displayed a
polished face up game and a solid jumper that had not been advertised in many of the
scouting reports. Additionally, he seems to have great rebounding instincts as he appears to read the flight of the shot well and adjust accordingly. He was able to rebound
well and seems like he can be a decent positional defender with the necessary commitment and Kevin Garnett's tutelage. More Analysis after the jump
Of concern is what many of us feared following the draft.
Sully is slow footed and a little plodding, and his relative lack of height for
a big man was on display. He
struggled against former Cornell Center Jeff Foote, a “legitimate 7-Footer” who
gave the shorter Sullinger trouble in the post and held him to 3 of 12 from the
field. It will be interesting to see if the rookie is able to offset his height
disadvantage with his touch around the rim, polished low post game, and ability
to knock in occasional jumper (please stay inside the arc at all times on
offense though, for God’s sake).
Small Forward Kris Joseph represented himself well in the
summer league. A relative unknown heading into this week, the new #43 showed he
could do a little bit of everything,, providing athleticism on defense and a
diverse offensive repertoire. Again, this is just the summer league, but Joseph
was able to punctuate his week with a strong showing in game 4, contributing 17
points and snatching 11 boards. For a team desperately looking for depth on the
wing, the former Orangeman may be just what the doctor ordered.