Kevin Garnett says Jared Sullinger reminds him of Kendrick Perkins when it comes to basketball IQ and unselfishness.
— Boston Celtics (@celtics) November 6, 2012
Obviously a pretty big compliment by the Big Ticket. KG has been searching for a partner in crime down low since Perkins was traded. Shaq couldn't get back on the court due to his foot. J.O. needed to be wrapped in bubble wrap. Krstic just didn't have the ability. Unselfishness and Big Baby were oxymorons. Hollins didn't have the basketball IQ. I won't even get into the long list of Timberwolves big men that KG suffered next to.
Now along comes Jared Sullinger. A guy who was supposed to be a high lottery pick. His only knocks are his body, athleticism, and a red flag on his back. Well his back seems fine and basketball IQ often outweighs (no pun intended) shape and athleticism.
I really like that Doc has given Sullinger the starting job. I feel like he did so with the blessing of KG. This is similar to last year when Rondo endorsed Bradley into the starting line-up. You don't just come into Boston and are automatically given something. You have to earn it. People have falsely said for years that Doc refuses to play rookies and young players. This is completely bogus. He'll play them if they are good enough and they are doing what the Celtics ask of them.
We've heard several times now about Sullinger's basketball IQ. Too often fans see an athletic player who can get a highlight dunk and don't notice the player who is aways in the right spots on defensive rotations. The guy who gets good positioning for boxing out. The guy who knows how to seal his defender properly down low. I was already on board with Sully as a starter. KG's endorsement I feel makes things official. It's time to get behind the 20 year old rookie. Trust KG's judgement.