Author Topic: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe  (Read 4643 times)

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High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« on: January 07, 2013, 09:05:36 AM »

Offline Jeff

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wow  :o

http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/story/_/page/Rookies-130103/nba-rookie-watch-bad-numbers-good-performances

(ESPN Insider)

Quote
Kevin Garnett might be a top-five defender if we consider every NBA big over the past 25 years -- that's how special he is. He's still almost at the top of his game on that end and probably the best help defender in basketball (though Joakim Noah is closing fast). Sullinger, though, is proving to be almost as good on defense for the Celtics as KG, a fact that gets lost because so many of their teammates are not on their level.
On the glass, Sullinger has been dominant, with a defensive rebounding rate of 22.1, second only to world-class athlete Andre Drummond among rooks. Sullinger has tackled the challenge of being more than a scoring machine beautifully, proving he can do the dirty work despite being such a star for so long. It will serve him well when he begins to get more offensive opportunities.
Faith and Sports - an essay by Jeff Clark

"Know what I pray for? The strength to change what I can, the inability to accept what I can't, and the incapacity to tell the difference." - Calvin (Bill Watterson)

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2013, 09:09:33 AM »

Offline Bankshot

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"Sullinger, though, is proving to be almost as good on defense for the Celtics as KG, a fact that gets lost because so many of their teammates are not on their level"

Maybe that fact is lost because it's not true?  At least I haven't noticed.  I've noticed his improvement, but close to KG I don'tsee. I love Sullinger though.  I can't believe how fast the rookie is improving. 8)
"If somebody would have told you when he was playing with the Knicks that Nate Robinson was going to change a big time game and he was going to do it mostly because of his defense, somebody would have got slapped."  Mark Jackson

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2013, 09:10:03 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Wait, what?!

I'm sorry, this is national-coverage nonsense. Rebounding is not defense. Also, Thorpe must have fallen asleep on the fact that Sullinger can't stop fouling.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2013, 09:14:06 AM »

Offline wdleehi

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The Celtics offensive number and defensive numbers are better when he is on the court vs. off.  There has to be something behind that.



Now I wouldn't put him at KG level (that is a rare group in the NBA that has that level of impact), but I could believe he is playing good rookie defense. 


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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2013, 09:16:06 AM »

Offline Jeff

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Thorpe's point in the article was that numbers don't tell the whole story with some rookies - he's saying from a scout's perspective the kid can play defense

I think he's also prone to hyperbole, so take with a grain of salt
Faith and Sports - an essay by Jeff Clark

"Know what I pray for? The strength to change what I can, the inability to accept what I can't, and the incapacity to tell the difference." - Calvin (Bill Watterson)

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2013, 09:17:47 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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The Celtics offensive number and defensive numbers are better when he is on the court vs. off.  There has to be something behind that.



Now I wouldn't put him at KG level (that is a rare group in the NBA that has that level of impact), but I could believe he is playing good rookie defense.
I'd be happy if he reaches a Brandon Bass level of defense from last year. Or Glen Davis level of defense.

But even that remains a work in progress at this point.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2013, 09:18:57 AM »

Online Fafnir

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Thorpe's point in the article was that numbers don't tell the whole story with some rookies - he's saying from a scout's perspective the kid can play defense

I think he's also prone to hyperbole, so take with a grain of salt
He's definitely improved quite a bit from his first month or two where he was pretty terrible defensively.

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2013, 09:20:27 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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Thorpe's point in the article was that numbers don't tell the whole story with some rookies - he's saying from a scout's perspective the kid can play defense

I think he's also prone to hyperbole, so take with a grain of salt
I admit I haven't had time to sit and watch a full game lately, but I struggle to reconcile this blurb with what I see.

Sullinger doesn't block shots, can't guard bigger inside post players, and is still late on defensive rotations.

There has been some progress in guarding post players his size, but he's still fouling too much to be considered reliable defensively.

Am I missing anything?
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2013, 09:23:18 AM »

Offline Chris

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"Sullinger, though, is proving to be almost as good on defense for the Celtics as KG, a fact that gets lost because so many of their teammates are not on their level"

Maybe that fact is lost because it's not true?  At least I haven't noticed.  I've noticed his improvement, but close to KG I don'tsee. I love Sullinger though.  I can't believe how fast the rookie is improving. 8)

I've noticed.  Thorpe might be going a bit over the top, but Sullinger has been fantastic defensively.  He has been far and away their second best big man defender, and has probably been their second best overall defender before Bradley returned.

I think too many people get caught up on shot blocking with big men, and don't realize that you can have a really good big man defender who doesn't block shots. 

Sully prevents a ton of easy baskets with his positioning.  He does the same thing KG and Perk always did, by getting to the spot early enough to force the offensive player to change course. 

He reminds me a lot of Glen Davis (at least how he as in stretches).  When Big Baby focussed on defense (before he fell in love with his offense), he was a great team defender, who could really cause havoc in the post, despite his lack of size and jumping ability.  The only difference is Sully is a better rebounder. 

Now don't get me wrong, Sully will never be KG.  But, right now, he is earning his minutes with his defense.  I just hope that he does not repeat Glen Davis (among others) career trajectory of taking defense for granted once he becomes a bigger part of the offense. 

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2013, 09:23:32 AM »

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Thorpe's point in the article was that numbers don't tell the whole story with some rookies - he's saying from a scout's perspective the kid can play defense

I think he's also prone to hyperbole, so take with a grain of salt
I admit I haven't had time to sit and watch a full game lately, but I struggle to reconcile this blurb with what I see.

Sullinger doesn't block shots, can't guard bigger inside post players, and is still late on defensive rotations.

There has been some progress in guarding post players his size, but he's still fouling too much to be considered reliable defensively.

Am I missing anything?

His pick-and-roll and help defense has improved vastly. He's quicker on his recovery, and he's playing some good man-on-man defense, plus his timing for taking charges has improved too.

He's still prone to get exposed by some more athletic players, but he's been quite good on occasions for us.

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2013, 09:24:41 AM »

Offline Chris

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Thorpe's point in the article was that numbers don't tell the whole story with some rookies - he's saying from a scout's perspective the kid can play defense

I think he's also prone to hyperbole, so take with a grain of salt
He's definitely improved quite a bit from his first month or two where he was pretty terrible defensively.

Yeah, the first month or so, you could see him thinking through the rotations, which made him constantly late.  Now that he seems to have the system down, that extra second or fraction of a second is the difference between a stop and a layup. 

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2013, 09:25:38 AM »

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He's using his bulk and strength much more effectively. Leans on guys for good rebounding position and forcing people to adjust their offense.

He still looks bad on several plays a game when he's not quick enough to the spot, but he no longer looks bad almost every play.

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2013, 09:32:34 AM »

Offline Chris

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One criticism I do have though, is he really needs to drop the Perk routine.  I know he feels like he never fouls, and thinks he is getting called because he is a rookie (maybe true, but most of the times, they are legit fouls), but if he ever wants to be one of the vets who gets the benefit of the doubt on those calls, he needs to stop showing the refs up EVERY TIME he is called for a foul. 

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2013, 09:42:14 AM »

Offline fandrew

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Thorpe's point in the article was that numbers don't tell the whole story with some rookies - he's saying from a scout's perspective the kid can play defense

I think he's also prone to hyperbole, so take with a grain of salt
I admit I haven't had time to sit and watch a full game lately, but I struggle to reconcile this blurb with what I see.

Sullinger doesn't block shots, can't guard bigger inside post players, and is still late on defensive rotations.

There has been some progress in guarding post players his size, but he's still fouling too much to be considered reliable defensively.

Am I missing anything?

I think what you are missing is that he is a rookie, and KG has been playing for what... 18 years this season? And that being the case no one said he is as good as KG, the article says that Sully is proving to be almost as good on defense for the Celtics as KG; his defense is proving to be as valuable for the Celtics because everyone else was just not getting the job done, aside from KG who still dominates.

Yes, he may not be a shot blocking machine, or be the best at guarding Centers 3 to 4 inches taller than him, but I have watched him do a fine job guarding the 4, with very few missed rotations. He is simply playing solid defense, and rebounding well for us. No one said he was Rookie of the Year, or MVP, or a future Hall of Famer. All that was said was his defense is good and getting better.

And I don't get why people are making such a beg deal out of comparisons to KG, Thorpe is giving the guy a great compliment as a result of his effort and improvements over the course of the season.

So to sum up, what you missed was the spirit of the blurb.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2013, 09:48:00 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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All that was said was his defense is good and getting better.
No, that wasn't what was said at all. What was said was that he's "almost as good as KG on defense". Maybe he's the best by the rest of the big man package we have, but the difference is not big, and he's yet to show that the progress is reliable. So no, I don't think he's even close to being as important as Garnett is for the team right now.
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