Re: He's going NOWHERE
posted at 1/8/2013 5:53 AM EST
With Damon Lilliard (18.2/3.4/6.5); Anthony Davis (13.7/8.3/2 blocks) in the mix the idea of sully as rookie of the year is a little far fetched, but with the exception of Alexy Shved (11/3/4.5), michael kidd gilchrist (11/6.5); and Tyler Zeller 11.7/7.2 there aren't many rookies playing too much better than sullinger. he's defintely righ there with dion waiters and andre drummond in the next group, certainly in the top 10. if sully had more minutes his numbers would be right there with the second group. Considering his draft position he has to be considered one of the steals of the draft so far.
People keep talking about sullinger playing more (and he is and will continue to), but you're failing to note 1. that his conditioning was still improving to start the season (it was a problem in rookie camp, though he did come into camp in much better shape) and 2. (and most importantly) he has been fouling at an astronomical rate. he is playing under 19 minutes a game and has 107 fouls, which means that if you tried to play him 30 minutes a night he would literally foul out of every single game before getting there.
The refs are beginning to get used to him a little bit, but he's still a rookie and he's a very physical rookie (he's already pissing off opponents). He can't jump so his defensive game is all about strength in the post and using his legs and whacking at the ball and taking charges so until he gets fully established with the refs he's going to keep getting the wrong end of calls a lot of the time. I'm not sure his practice of holding his arms and smirking after every single call is necessarily the best idea either. he already has 2 flagrant fouls and the season isn't half over yet. he's gotten a lot of very bad calls, but this is the NBA and he's a rookie. the more they see, the more he's there in crunch time, the more they get used to the way he plays and he'll begin to get away with more.
hope AB and sully both stay and they simply get the best big guy they can for a package with some combo of bass/lee/terry/green/melo/pick. best case scenario bass/melo/and pick yields a serviceable center. perhaps unlikely but maybe a one year rental type? if they can bring someone decent in, wilcox can come back, and green could start to play (a BIG if) this team might have something.
ball movement, running, and hustling, hard nose d, and using their deep set of good athletes should be the benchmarks of this team and up until the past few games none of it has been. love rondo but hope he takes a lesson from what's going on and pushes the ball more than he has. you can see guys like bradley, lee, barbosa, green, terry, bass, etc are so much more energized and effective when the team is pushing the ball and going to the hole and being aggressive offensively. garnett and pierce fall right in line too. this team is made to run and they just haven't done it. bradley's presence has only highlighted the fact.