Thursday, May 1, 2014
Is Jared Sullinger the Celtics center of the future?
It seems like a great debate these days. Is Sully a center or power forward? In this NBA, Sully seems to be more of a center than forward. There is one big glaring weakness in Sully's game, and that's his ability to protect the rim. He doesn't have the length for it, and even the height.
Sullinger has the low post moves as a center, and the keen nose for rebounding like a true center. So is that enough to call him a center? Sullinger is listed at 6' 9", and 260 pounds. He's also listed as a center if that matters. So how does Sullinger rank in player "PER"? He's ranked 30th with a 16.42 PER among centers. Kris Humphries ranks 14th among centers with a 18.28 per.
The Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk ranks 38th with a 15.27 per. I don't know if the "PER" stat is a great indicator, but it's still a measuring stick of some kind. I think Sully can play center, if he molds his body into a lean force. I'm not saying he needs to lose weight, but he needs to make the weight a healthy weight.
Sullinger ranked 64th in blocks, right behind Melo, which isn't ideal for your starting center. Bass, and Hump rank higher than Sully in blocks per game this past season as well. Sometimes stats leave out the important stuff, and you can argue that when you speak about Sully being a center or forward.
Sometimes a player plays a position that may not be natural when it comes to certain things and qualities. Magic Johnson was 6' 9", but he was meant to be a point guard. The point is, any given player may not fit the mold that's expected of them. Sully is a true center despite his lack of height and length.