The Celtics faced a tough schedule over the last week playing five games in seven days. There were some highs and lows for the team that ultimately ended up finishing the week just above five-hundred at 6-5 on the season. A lot of news came from our rookies this past week as Sully continues to contribute in the rotation while Fab and Kris moved to the Maine Red Claws. In this Rookie Report we'll cover the top stories from the past week, Sully's first career double-double, and what we've been hearing from the Celtics' D-league affiliate.
AUBURN HILLS, MI - NOVEMBER 18: Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics grabs the rebound against Andre Drummond #1 of the Detroit Pistons on November 18, 2012 at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Jared Sullinger - With five games in seven days Jared Sullinger and the rest of the Celtics bench had to play a large role in soaking up minutes for our veteran starters. The team started the week with back to back wins in which Jared's role was limited but effective in the time he did get. In their first game against the Bulls, Sully's only points came from a distance three pointer that he nailed to end the first half. Although this isn't the ideal shot for him, Sully can hit it, and he showcased his range with the last second bucket. Mid week, Jared played the least amount only totaling 8 minutes in a close game against the Brooklyn Nets. As the weekend games came Jared saw his minutes rise to 25 and 26 minutes Saturday and Sunday. He had a standout performance against the Raptors Saturday recording his first career double-double. He shot 5-8 on the day finishing with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Finally, on Sunday the team as a whole shot extremely poorly against Detroit. In fact, the only positive takeaway was Jared's performance shooting 7-12 for 16 points and 5 rebounds. Of those 16 points two of them came at the most critical time for Rajon Rondo. As you may have heard, Doc Rivers kept Rondo in the game to salvage his double-digit assist streak. On a night when no one could hit a shot, Sully stepped up and hit a jumper in the final minute to give Rondo his 10th assist. This helped seal Rondo's 34th straight game as he closes in on John Stockton and potentially Magic Johnson's records. Overall it was a good week for our top draft pick. Although he saw limited minutes in a few games Sully managed to contribute when he did play and showed flashes of greatness. Sully's game has easily translated to the NBA level and you can see his potential for the future. If he keeps this up he'll have a pretty successful rookie campaign and surely will learn a lot from veterans like KG.
Kris Joseph - News came midweek that both Kris Joseph and Fab Melo would head north to begin playing with the Celtics' D-League affiliate the Maine Red Claws. Doc had mentioned keeping Kris Joseph with the Celtics for a while but as they faced a week full of games and no practices they figured he'd be best to spend time in action. This year the Celtics will be able to call up and send down players between the Celtics and D-League team as many times as they want. This will be great for Kris as he can practice with the team but still get playing time when the Celtics face road trips. The Red Claws hosted an intersquad scrimmage in which Joseph shined. He was one of three leading scorers who had 19 points and some highlight plays to go along.
Kris Joseph got the opening tip, dribbled, waited, then sent a lob to the hoop. A soaring Chris Wright caught it and finished the alley-oop slam. Joseph then made a steal and raced in for a reverse dunk. Minutes later, Joseph launched himself in the key, switched hands during some serious air time and rolled the layup in. Having a Boston Celtic around can sure be entertaining.
Kris also got some media time in an interview with CLNS Radio. Kris talks about his journey to the NBA and his relationship with his brother Maurice "MOJO" Joseph. It starts off telling the story of Kris' hard choice to leave his hometown in Montreal, Canada to pursue better basketball in Washington, DC. Then goes into his development as a player and time spent at Syracuse University.
Fab Melo - Fab's time with the Maine Red Claws was expected and it seems to getting lots of attention. The Red Claw's team have a full page ad on their website featuring Melo stating "It's going to be a FAB-u-lous season in Maine". The program is certainly happy to have a player of his caliber and are looking to help Melo succeed in developing to the NBA level. Even the players are extremely excited to play with him as tweeted by teammate DaQuan Brooks:
1st practice wit @fabpmelo that boy go get everything thrown up by the hoop lol
— DaQuan Brooks (@DaQuan23) November 14, 2012
Fab also had a great performance in the team's first scrimmage scoring 15 points and at least five blocks. This is great to hear as he hasn't played significant time in a game since summer league play. Clearly it didn't take long for Melo to settle in and he's making his shot blocking ability be known early. After all, he was last year's Big East Defensive Player of the Year. The biggest learning curve Fab faces is that of the faster pace and pick and roll play. It's largely understood that the NBA game features much more pick and roll offense than the college game. To move into the NBA level Fab will need to learn to effectively run and defend the pick and roll. With his size he's certainly got the tools to succeed and with time will hopefully learn how to read screens and set them. Fab also spent time with CLNS Radio over the weekend. He recorded a six minute interview with the radio station that can be heard here. Fab discusses numerous topics such as getting drafted by the Celtics in the first round, the differences between college and NBA level play, and what advice KG has given him. I must say I'm pretty impressed with his maturity and the way he's bought into the program. The radio show asked a few questions about how he felt moving to the D-League team and what he needs to do to return to the NBA. Fab answered them all very well. He seems to be focused on learning as much as he can and working specifically on his defensive presence. The Celtics play their first game of the week on Wednesday against the Spurs and play again the day after Thanksgiving as the Oklahoma City Thunder are in town. The Maine Red Claws open up their season Friday the 23rd against Canton. We'll have a recap from that and the rest of the weekends games next week in the Celtics Green Rookie Round-up.