Jared Sullinger: Boston Celtics no longer out to 'get theirs'

“I just thought we played as individuals (last year)," he told MassLive.com last week after a practice in Brooklyn. "Everybody was out there trying to get theirs.” But why? “I don’t know. But I know it changed," he said that day. "That’s all that matters."

As the Celtics improved to 5-3 during the preseason and prep for the season opener on October 29th against Brooklyn, Jared Sullinger spoke candidly about the differences between the 2013-14 and 2014-15 teams.

“This year compared to last year is two different teams,” he said. “The offense is totally different from last year. (Head coach Brad Stevens’) mindset of coaching is totally different from last year. He’s doing a great job and we’re just following his lead.”

The team has been making moves as of late, many of which are going largely unnoticed due to the low expectations set for this season. If preseason is any indicator, players like Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk along with rookies Marcus Smart and James Young could be inline to surprise teams and fans alike.

There are growing pains with any situation. Part of growth comes with different members of the Celtics organization growing into their respective roles. This is certainly the case with Brad Stevens and how he is relating to his team on a nightly basis.

“I just think he knows what he wants. He knows what he wants to do offensively and defensively, and he has a great mindset toward the NBA game, I believe. You just see throughout every game that we play, he makes tweaks every game. Last year I thought it was just one mindset: ‘We want to do this. We want to do that.’ And that was it. Now he’s making adjustments from game to game. Offensively we have so many more sets than last year already that involve movement and player personnel. I think it’s just extremely helpful to the team that we have."

Sullinger has been a beast as of late. In last night’s final preseason game against Brooklyn, Sullinger put up 15 points and 17 rebounds. This could be a sign of things to come as the team starts to figure out exactly what they want their team to be.

“It’s not about having (more good) passers. But as a team, last year, we really didn’t have a concept of how we wanted to play. I think Brad instilled that in us from Day 1 about ball movement, moving the ball, if you pass and move the ball, the defense can’t keep up pretty much.”

The 2014-15 season starts this coming Wednesday against the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

Follow Padraic O'Connor on Twitter @padraic_oconnor

Credit: Jay King, MassLive

Photo: AP Photo/Elise Amendola