BOSTON (CBS) – With no Celtics or Bruins games on the schedule for Tuesday night, it was a rare, full five hour edition of The Adam Jones show here on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger was a guest on tonight’s show and a number of topics were covered, including his development as a player from his first to second year.
What’s been the biggest difference?
“I think I have my confidence,” said Sullinger, whose rookie year was cut short due to a back injury. “That last month in January before I got hurt I was playing my best basketball as an NBA player.”
“I think it’s just confidence, I took what I had in January and carried it over to my sophomore year.”
Sullinger is listed at 6’9″, however in actuality is probably an inch shorter than that, but his lack of size has not inhibited his effectiveness as an NBA big man.
Sullinger routinely out-rebounds and out-hustles players who are bigger than he is, and on the year is averaging 12 points per game and 7 rebounds.
How does he do it?
“I use my body well, that’s what I do best. I just try to keep their length to a minimum by using my body and banging them off balance.”
Getting back [no pun intended] to that injury that cut his rookie season short, Jones referenced what scouts were saying about him coming out of Ohio State. That is, he was medically red-flagged for having back problems.
Will his back problems persist?
“The doctors said there would be no more problems as long as I do what I’m supposed to do, and take care of those small things like stretching and warming up properly. As long as I do that I’ll be fine,” Sullinger told Adam Jones.
Celtics head coach Brad Stevens got his start in college under Thad Matta, someone who Sullinger played for during his OSU days. On their similarities, Sully said, “It’s like playing for my college coach all over again.”
Guard Rajon Rondo is nearing a return coming off of knee surgery, so his impact on the court has not yet been felt in the 2013-14 season.
However, Jared Sullinger praised Rondo’s leadership off the court and credits Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen for “teaching him the ropes” on being an NBA veteran, adding, “He knows what it takes to win.”
For Sullinger’s take on the media scrutiny in Boston, as well as his college football prediction for OSU/Michigan this weekend, listen to the full interview below: