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Rivers considering Sullinger in the starting lineup

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  October 10, 2012 07:55 PM

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WALTHAM -- There was obviously more to Rivers starting Jared Sullinger on Sunday against Emporio Armani Milano and the rookie has made quite an impression in training camp. Rivers said he is open to anything that will boost the versatility of the bench, and the addition of a pick-and-roll shooter like Brandon Bass in place of Sullinger may be a strong consideration.

“I’m going to try (Sullinger) a couple of games, and then I’ll throw Brandon in and then I’ll put Darko (Milicic) in a couple of times,” Rivers said following the team's workout Wednesday. “You can read into it whatever you want. But there’s been no decision made on anything.”

Rivers again reiterated that Sullinger has caught the organization by surprise with his maturity and ability to learn the offense. Sullinger dropped in the draft because of rumors about potential back surgery because he has not had any issues during camp.

“He doesn’t think like a rookie, he thinks like a veteran,” Rivers said. “He plays a great pace. He’s one of our best rebounders. He can pass the ball and so he does a lot of things that helps our team. And so we want to keep those guys around.”

When asked if he would consider starting Sullinger, Rivers did not deny his considering the possibility: “I said that when we drafted him but I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t really want to get into who’s starting who’s not yet. We’ll see. I’m not worried about our starting lineup. I’m far more worried about our second lineup, and that’s the lineup that we’re going to keep moving guys around.”

PRACTICE NOTES

  • Chris Wilcox did not participate in practice again with a sore back and it is not known when he will return. Rivers said he knows nothing more than that.

  • Avery Bradley was in his practice gear but is a '"ways away" from practicing. He is expected to return from double shoulder surgery in December.

  • Kevin Garnett called Wednesday a "playoff" like practice after the club worked out for more than two hours. The Celtics had not practiced since Thursday in Istanbul.

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