Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Who's your Boston Celtics MVP for the 2013-14 season?

Over at ESPN Boston they picked their MVP and Rookie Of The Year. The Rookie Of The Year is easy to pick. It's hands down Kelly Olynyk, even though Phil Pressey has been outstanding lately.

Over at ESPN Boston, they picked Jared Sullinger as team MVP. Rajon Rondo is clearly the best player, but he's only played in 30 games this season for the Celtics. So is Sullinger the MVP? This is what Chris Forsberg said about Sully as team MVP. The poll has Sully at 75% as well.

ESPN Boston

Let's disqualify Rajon Rondo here. If he plays in Wednesday's season finale, he'll top out at 31 games played after a mid-January return from ACL surgery. Rondo's stat line is impressive at 11.7 points, 9.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds over a mere 33.3 minutes per game, but the Celtics are 11-30 since his return, including 6-24 in games he appeared. Examining the rest of the field, you could make a case for a number of players, maybe even the departed Jordan Crawford given Boston's early-season success. Our pick? Jared Sullinger.

Despite not having the luxury of a pure center alongside him, Sullinger performed admirably in his sophomore season, averaging 13.3 points and 8.1 rebounds. The Celtics asked him to step outside his comfort zone and he spent much of the season trying to extend his range beyond the 3-point line (to limited success while shooting 26.9 percent beyond the arc). The fact that Sullinger will shoot more triples (208) than free throws (203) is worrisome, but let's chalk it up to experimentation in a transition year. If the Celtics add a pure center next to him, Sullinger needs a serviceable 3-point shot to stretch the floor, but we'd also like to see more back-to-the-basket next season. According to ESPN's new WAR (Wins Above Replacement) metric, Sullinger topped the team and his real plus-minus stats help show that he was a better defender than might appear. Sullinger was the team's best two-way rebounder, giving the team a lift on the offensive glass that hasn't been seen in these parts in recent seasons. All this while coming off back surgery that limited his offseason. We're intrigued to see where Sullinger goes from here, but he certainly was one of the brightest spots this season.

Honor roll: Avery Bradley's blossoming offensive game made him a legitimate two-way threat, but injuries did rob him of nearly a quarter of his season. ... Jeff Green, for all his inconsistencies, is set to start all 82 games for the second straight season since heart surgery, but his WAR is even lower than that of D-League call-up Chris Johnson (albeit in two very different sample sizes).

Honestly, I was leaning towards Jeff Green. I looked at Chris Forsberg's reason, he used ESPN's new WAR (Wins Above Replacement) metric to pick Sully. So, I looked where Green finished. Jeff Green finished 213, compared to Sully finishing 83rd. How did someone like Derek Fisher finish 109th? The stat isn't perfect, but it does help weed out the best. So how do their stats compare head-to-head?

Better stats overall? Jeff Green, besides the rebounding that goes Sully's way. Green has the points over Sully, but again, maybe Sully could have scored around 16-17 if he played more consistent earlier in the season. One thing that hurts Sully? His shooting percentages are very low for a guy who should be in the paint. Another area that I looked at was Green's numbers as a starter (All 81 games)compared to Sully's 44 games as a starter. The numbers don't differ much from his numbers coming off the bench.

When it comes to 4th quarter numbers. Sully averages 4.3 points per 4th quarter, with Green at 3.9 in the final quarter. Green has likely had the best performances, but Sully has been the heart and soul of this team. I really wanted to find ways to say Jeff Green was MVP. But, I didn't find something glaring that would point me towards Green. You could say both are CO-MVP's, but it doesn't work that way often. Jared Sullinger is my choice for Celtics MVP, which means Sully has set the bar even higher next season.


  1. Sully is a true center. What we need is a PF with shotblocking ability

  2. No One, but Kudo's to Rookie Kelly Olynyk, should of played him more later in the season, I see a Rising Star in him

  3. Kelly has shown that he could be something special, I think he's shown more than Sully actually in the past weeks.