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Jared Sullinger is expected to be back for next training camp after under going successful back surgery, according to The Boston Globe. The surgery was lumbar disk surgery and Sullinger is the second Celtic in six days to be lost for the season.
Danny Ainge and the Celtics knew about Sullinger’s back woes before they drafted him last june, and they were aware that surgery was likely in his future at some point. Sullinger was once considered to be a top-5 prospect, but fell all the way to the Celtics at the 21st pick.
Rajon Rondo was the star of this team before his ACL tear, but Sullinger brought something else to the table that could not be recorded in a stat sheet. ‘Sully’ was the guy who came off the bench and played 110 percent for every second he was out there. He never gave excuses and knew he had to get better with each game he played.
The Ohio State rookie played in 46 games and improved each time his feet touched the floor. He averaged six points and 5.9 rebounds in only 19.8 minutes each game. Those numbers rose each month after averaging a little over two points and one rebound in a November game.
Sullinger also brings some life off the bench that will be really hard to replace. He would go in there and play tough-nosed defense every minutes and would go for blocks and charges without even thinking about it. Sullinger’s best attribute is his ability to rebound the basketball and can box out players in the paint not only for the defensive rebound, but also on the offensive glass for some great second-chance looks.
Sully has been a great commodity off the bench in the recent months and it stinks that he doesn’t get the chance to ride out the season as a member of the starting lineup. He started the last two games before he left four minutes into a contest against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.
Sullinger is one of the reasons the Celtics are hanging on in the Eastern Conference playoff hunt. Sullinger’s intangibles and hot spark off the bench really drove this Celtics team.