Jared Sullinger’s basketball IQ continues to inspire gushing among teammates, coaches; Sullinger could start
Doc Rivers normally treats all rookies the same way — he ties them with a few feet of chain to the end of the bench, at least until they can learn proper defensive rotations and stop making so many goddamn mistakes.
Jared Sullinger’s different, though. Even during the summer, Rivers stated how Sullinger could potentially earn a starting spot. We took that with a grain of salt at the time, largely because Sullinger was busy shooting 30 percent at the Las Vegas Summer League, Brandon Bass had recently finished a successful (albeit understated) campaign and Rivers hasn’t played a single rookie major minutes since the advent of the Big Three era. But preseason has arrived and Rivers is still flirting with the idea of inserting Sullinger into the starting lineup, at least on some nights.
Why does Sullinger seem ready to break through the rookie chains? Two letters: IQ. (ESPN Boston)
Said Kevin Garnett: “Sully is very intelligent player. Very, very high IQ basketball.”
[Added Rivers]: ”His IQ. He doesn’t think like a rookie, he thinks like a veteran. He plays at great pace, he’s one of our best rebounders, he can pass the ball — so he does a lot of things that help our team.”
“[Sullinger is] probably the smartest rookie we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said Rondo. “He’s very intelligent, high basketball IQ, and he’s very unselfish. He doesn’t need a play called for him. He’s been getting his points just off the little dirty work.”
Read the link above to view how Sullinger gives credit to his father (a coach) and his brothers (who both played D-I hoops) for his advanced basketball intellect.
Based on early returns, the Celtics might have found themselves a draft steal. It’s phenomenal that he looked good against bald-headed European dudes during Boston’s first two games, but it’s even better that his teammates and coaches won’t stop gushing about his brain.