ALBANY, N.Y. — Jared Sullinger is bringing another dimension to the Celtics on the offensive boards. Sullinger had 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds in the Celtics’ 109-98 win over the New York Knicks Saturday night and is averaging 2.8 offensive rebounds in seven preseason games.
Last season, Brandon Bass led the Celtics (3-4) on the offensive glass with 1.6 per game.
“You’ve just got to know your teammates and be able to carve out space on the offensive end,” Sullinger said. “You know when somebody’s about to shoot, their go-to move. And the shot clock, you’ve just got to be ready.
“[Coach Doc Rivers] wants me to go every time. So, I’m always going to go; if I’m on the perimeter, maybe not. But if I’m in the paint I’m going to go, and my main goal is try to get the ball and get us extra production.”
Sullinger made his fifth start against the Knicks and could be in the starting lineup in the season-opener at Miami Oct. 30.
Kevin Garnett and captain Paul Pierce were both held out of action, and Bass (knee) and Darko Milicic (wrist) were rested. Bass, Garnett, and Milicic will be available for the final preseason contest against the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday. The status of Pierce (ankle) and recently-acquired guard Leandro Barbosa has not been determined.
Jeff Green scored 25 points and Jason Terry added 22 points as the Celtics overcame a 20-point first half deficit against the Knicks.
“I liked the small lineup stuff,” Rivers said. “We told the guys going into the game we were basically going to run pick and roll game, no matter who’s on the floor. We just wanted to see different formations and we were going to run the pick and roll over and over again. ”
Rookie Kris Joseph scored 13 points for the Celtics.
Frank Dell'Apa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.