Originally written on Atlantic Twine  |  Last updated 10/24/14
In the Big Three era the Celtics have offensively been a penetrate and pass offense. They rely heavily on points off fouls and a high field goal percentage yielded from finding high percentage shots by exploiting defensive rotations. This style of play also led to one of the consistently best team defensives in the NBA because Boston would omit rebounding to solidify their transition defense and take away points from fast break teams like Miami.   Currently the Celtics are at the midpoint of the season with a 20-21 record and its time for a change. The aging Celtics have always been a playoff team and really increase the intensity during the post season, but they wont get there this year unless they quickly mix some things up. I strongly believe that the Celtics need to start Sullinger or at least increase his playing time to over 25 minuets a game. I got this figure from looking at Sullingers minutes this year and notice that the relationship of his minutes and effectiveness increases directly. If you look at the chart you can see how effective Sulliger is when he gets an adequate amount of playing time. His big 6’9” 260lbs frame, ball popping palm strength, and quick, not high, leaping ability make him a much better rebounder than Brandon Bass. Sullivan also is one of the few rebounders to constantly stay aware of his positioning in the paint when its comes to rebounding. Also like Dennis Rodman, Sullinger, has a great sense of predicting where the ball will bounce. To my understanding it seems like Doc Rivers has decided to stick with Bass at starting power forward because of his ability to make jump shots along the baseline and elbows. But if you look at the NBA.com statisitics behind their effectiveness on the court the Celtics are a much better shooting and rebounding team with Sullinger on the floor. You’ll also notice that from the NBA.com figure that when Sullinger is on the court not only does the offensive rebounding stats increase by at least 10% of the teams average but also the three point shooting percentage goes up when he’s on the floor. The reason for this is simple. With Sullinger in Kevin Garnett is able to spread out more and get into his midrange game. When KG spreads out he brings more attention than Bass would. This creates more space for the guards Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, or Paul Pierce to drive to the lane, which they’ve struggled with at times this season. This difference helps the team the most. Getting the guards points in the paint builds shooting confidence, results in foul shots, and leaves the three point shooters like Terry or Peirce open. Sullinger’s offensive rebounds are then allowing our shooters to get more open shots or getting easy put back buckets where most the rookies 6.2 ppg come from. I am not trying to knock on Doc Rivers, In my opinion he is the best coach in the NBA. I feel like he hasn’t but in Sullinger because he is so slow and can run back on defense as well as Bass or Jeff Green can. That being said Sullingers plus and minus ratings say otherwise. Granted that plus and minus ratings are not really excepted as a reliable NBA statistic is hard to ignore how many times Sullungers name comes up in the top 5 player lineups for the Celtics.   The red line is the current starting lineup. The green line is the lineup I would like to see Rivers play. I attribute that lineups low +/- to the amount of losses the Celtics have and not the play of Terry and Sullivan. Also on that note I wouldn’t mind seeing Bradley start because of his ability to drive and quickness but I think that a 3 point threat like Terry would be more needed if the Celtics went that big. This chart is also very complimentary of the rookie out of Ohio State because it shows his ability to not get beat while on the court. He might not be able to run the floor as well as other Celtics but in half-court defense his defensive rebound takes away second chances and easy points and his toughness and shot blocking prowess help keeping guards out of the paint. Lastly, with that the green highlighted lineup KG Rondo and Peirce are all tremendous rebounders for their position as well, so with the addition of Sullinger the Celtics could easily break top 20 in the league in rebounding. I won’t go too big in the ranking because its not in Doc’s philosophy to because a top 10 ten rebounding team even though they have the talent to do so if they chose.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

Celtics News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.