Rajon Rondo, Darko Milicic and rookie Jared Sullinger deliver solid performances in Europe
Jeff Green, Rajon Rondo, Darko Milicic and rookie Jared Sullinger (who appeared an impossible draft pick for the Boston Celtics only months ago) delivered meaningful performances for the Boston Celtics.
Rajon Rondo led the Boston Celtics with a dominating performance in the first quarter, shooting 7-7, as well as two free throws and a 3-pointer. The reserve Boston Celtics players came-off the bench during the second quarter, to rally the team to a 30-point advantage after the clock ran out.
Darko Milicic played a well-rounded passing game. And while his individual stats may not speak much (after averaging just 2 points per game), Darko Milicic made an impact on the offense, leading the Boston Celtics with 9 rebounds and 4 blocks.
And while Jeff Green did not shine on his spot, he still managed to tie with Rajon Rondo for highest score on the game (17 points).
There were other Boston Celtics players who also delivered double digits Sunday, including Paul Pierce (14 points), Courtney Lee (11 points), Brandon Bass (11 points from shooting 7-7, and 8 rebounds), as well as Jason Terry (11 points, that included three consecutive 3-pointers in the third-quarter).
Kevin Garnett too played restricted minutes against the Emporio Armani.
However, Sunday’s game was all about Jared Sullinger, who impressed Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers into earning a start after scoring 16-points and 8-rebounds on Friday.
The Boston Celtics acquired Jared Sullinger on a discounted draft pick (No. 21 overall) after he was medically red-flagged ahead of June’s drafts due to concern over bulging discs in his back becoming a long-term issue in the league. Doc Rivers had to re-shape the roster after they cashed-in on a “terrific” opportunity to have Jared Sullinger onboard.
"The middle of last college season, I don’t even think we would have looked at film on Sullinger, because we would have thought we had no chance to get him," said Doc Rivers. "Then (Boston Celtics president of basketball operations) Danny (Ainge) released the health report on him, and he fell to us.”
And since, especially during the past two weeks Jared Sullinger has proven with two strong preseason performances that the Boston Celtics took a steal on him in the drafts. But he looks anything from an inexperienced late-draft-pick during the Boston Celtics’ European campaign.
"That’s not true everyone, I’ m just joking,” Doc Rivers humorously added later. “Or maybe it is, who knows? It’s been that type of summer, it’s been good."
Jared Sullinger had nine points, seven rebounds, and one block playing 18-minutes in Sunday’s game. And Jared Sullunger doesn’t appear to be the type easily overwhelmed playing alongside The Boston Celtics’ Big Three or Jason Terry for that matter of fact. Jared Sullinger played well around the basket and covered up the glass, which will likely pave his way towards coming in regular in the rotation.
However, Doc Rivers hinted that there’s no need to get ahead of ourselves after Sunday since it was only the start of the preseason. Reserve power forward Brandon Bass, who’s been the Boston regular sixth-man option, had 11 points and eight rebounds while playing over 24 minutes of the bench Sunday.