Why I think Sullinger should be in the starting lineup

I was going to start on this post later, but Jeff from CelticsBlog beat me to it.

Nevertheless, I’ll talk about my arguments for leaving Sully as a starter in the coming games.


(via Red’s Army)

Bass on the bench

Bass is fantastic in the starting lineup when he plays alongside Rondo, being able to space the floor with his mid-range game. His consistent scoring was a huge factor in last season’s success, and definitely a contributor in this coming season.

He has however proved to play fine in a bench role, providing gritty defense and taking his shots whenever he gets them. His impact, although reduced when in the bench mob, is still better than how Sully would be on the bench.

How KG and Rondo affect court play

KG’s tendency to take the long two provides the means of drawing away the bigger defender, which gives Sullinger (or Bass) a shot at rebounding and possibly finishing shots in the paint.

Rondo on the other hand provides aggressive drives into the paint, which draws the help defense his way. Add his ability to thread the pass into the hands of a waiting teammate, and it becomes a case of picking your poison. Either the help defense goes up to stop Rondo (which leads to a hand off pass), or Rondo gets his shot.


(via ESPN Boston)

Sullinger on the bench

Without KG and Rondo’s presence on the court, Sullinger’s chances of getting shots under the basket would be far and few in between.

You can definitely count on the fact that the passing will be less fluid with the second unit, which would lead to Sully focusing on rebounds more than anything else – I suppose you could call him a rebounding machine.

Sully is a great opportunist

This is one of those things that will happen when Sullinger is ready and waiting. Rondo drives and draws the defense, hands it off for an easy two points.

These opportunistic putbacks and dunks are exactly what Perk used to get off Rondo. Bass could do the same, but his style is similar to KG’s in that he tends to wait for the mid-range kick out pass, rather than clogging the paint.

Sullinger on the other hand is an aggressive rebounder. He knows his role, and is always waiting to establish position in the paint. Regardless of whether it’s a pass or a shot attempt, expect him to be ready.

Of course, it’s still the preseason and things are always uncertain. If Sullinger continues to perform this way though, there is no reason why he should not start eventually.

Two uncertainties however exist.

  • I’m not sure if Sully possesses the footwork to stay with quick lineups. And by quick lineups, I mean teams like Miami. We’ll have to see how that one turns out come season opener.
  • The inherent height disadvantage if the opponent has two sizable big men on the court at the same time. Sully would probably get his shots blocked Baby-style all night long.

What do you think, should Bass or Sullinger be at the power forward spot?

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Comments

  1. Much to be said about footwork for both, but Bass provides the stable offensive punch while Sully gives us the rebounding option. It’s only been 2 games, so it’s hard to say still.

    • I prefer Bass’s footwork honestly. Remember him doing defense on LeBron last postseason? He’s a solid guy. Sully’s more of an unproven, but I see potential!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] you haven’t read it, check out my piece on why putting Sullinger into the starting lineup is a good [...]

  2. [...] to insert Darko/Sully/Bass in the starting lineup in various possible lineups. I would still put my vote on Sullinger being the starting PF unless the other team has a really big [...]

  3. [...] the difference between staying safe and pushing the limits on what we’ve got with Sully. I’d go Sully first to see how things work out to be [...]

  4. [...] be starting, adding an analogy of chess into the argument even. I’m nowhere as poetic in expressing my confidence on why Sully should be a starter, but he has got my [...]

  5. [...] forgetting Jared Sullinger, our rookie who brings a 101% level on energy and hustle every night. I made my argument for Sully to join the ranks as a starter early in the season, and I’m still rooting for it right now. The guy is simply anchors our [...]

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