fb-pixel Skip to main content
celtics notebook

Jared Sullinger is having some deep thoughts

Jared Sullinger has coach Brad Stevens’ confidence.Associated Press

NEW YORK — Jared Sullinger does not want to declare himself a proven 3-point threat — yet. But thanks to preparation that began when Sullinger was a youngster he should not be considered a long shot to establish himself as an effective long-range shooter.

“Coach has a lot of confidence in me to take those shots when I’m open,” Sullinger said after practice at Baruch University Saturday. “When I’m open I just take the open shot. I’m lucky enough that they’re going in right now. Hopefully, that’s not just preseason bluff, hopefully it carries over to the regular season.’’

Basketball was a family affair for the Sullingers in Columbus, Ohio, and playing under the coaching of his father, Satch, Jared was not confined to the low post. Then there was the mentoring of Sullinger’s brother.


“My dad used to let me play on the outside, a lot,” Sullinger said. “And I kind of got used to it.”

As for the extended distance of the NBA 3-point line, Sullinger said: “You know what’s funny, is me and my brother [J.J.] used to shoot from NBA range when I was in middle school. So I’m kind of used to it. It didn’t show last year by percentages, but I’m used to it. My brother always thought I needed to be a step ahead of everybody else, and it carried over.”

The Celtics’ inside-out game has inverted Sullinger’s statistics during the exhibition season. Sullinger has converted 11 of 21 (52.4 percent) from the 3-point line and was 6 for 11 (54.5 percent) from the free throw line after six games.

“He shot a lot of them last year and shot it pretty well when his hand wasn’t hurt,” coach Brad Stevens said of Sullinger. “But his hand was hurt most of the year.


“His stroke looks great and his touch is great and he doesn’t have any arc issues. So you felt like he’d be a guy that could really shoot that well.

“Obviously, he’s shooting it very well and, hopefully, that continues because he’s put in a lot of work. He’s clearly improved his shooting.”

Whether Sullinger is firing away from the perimeter by design or by necessity, his effectiveness from the outside could become an effective weapon for the Celtics, since it can open the lanes for the guards.

“It helps guys like that because we take away the shot-blocker,” Sullinger said. “Nine times out of 10 I have the center on me and that’s mostly the shot-blocker. So I kind of take the shot-blocker away from the bucket and he’s kind of got to be concerned the way I’m shooting the ball right now.”

Bynum left out?

Stevens said guard Will Bynum will not be with the Celtics for Sunday’s game against the Brooklyn Nets.

“Will was in Boston and having a physical today and will not be joining us tomorrow,” Stevens said. “I’m going to know more Monday. As of now, I know he won’t be with us the next two days.”

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge and Bynum were expected to meet on Saturday, according to two NBA sources, and the team is likely to waive the 31-year-old Bynum, who was acquired Friday from the Pistons.

NBA sources said the Celtics are content with their point guard lineup of Rajon Rondo, Marcus Smart, and Phil Pressey, leaving Bynum out of the equation.


Clock management

Quarters will be reduced to 11 minutes for Sunday’s games with the Nets.

“I think that’s the biggest question mark moving forward — how does it affect rotations and how does it affect rotation players?” Stevens said. “Tomorrow it’s not as a much of a case because it’s an exhibition game and you don’t play too many guys too many minutes, anyway. But that’ll be one of the questions that will have to be answered.”

Stevens usually stays to a strict rotation during the preseason, but he said the 44-minute game has altered his plans.

“Very rarely do I get off of that [in the exhibition season],” Stevens said.

“Unless a guy looks tired or tweaks an ankle, or something like that. We’ll usually stay the course. You’ve seen where a guy gets two fouls and we’ll leave him in. It’s about the conditioning and getting used to the play as much as anything else.”

Gary Washburn of the Globe staff contributed to this report.