Author Topic: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe  (Read 4633 times)

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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2013, 09:53:06 AM »

Offline RyNye

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I think Sully has some MAJOR potential that people are really overlooking.

His defense is rapidly improving (and, in fact, even at the beginning of the season his defense wasn't as bad as some people on these forums like to make it out to be. Statistically, his defense was a hair below average, but not terrible, now it is above average).

People on the forums like to say he isn't a good shot blocker, but if you look at his block percentage (that is, given the amount of minutes he plays, the percent of opponent shots that end in a block for him), he is actually above the league average. Not by much, admittedly, but he is a better shot-blocker than people give him credit for.

His defensive rebounding is phenomenal.

His offensive rebounding is out of this world. His offensive rebounding rate is 12.4%, good for 21st in the league. For a rookie, that's awesome.

He is averaging 1.35 points per play on those offensive rebounds/putbacks. That is good for 5th in the league. That is ... astounding. This number is skewed a bit by sample size, admittedly, but historically offensive rebounding/putbacks are a consistent stat (that is, if you look at other players in the history of the league, there usually was very little variation in their offensive rebounding/putback efficiencies over the course of their careers, even adjusting for minutes played). So you expect with a greater sample size this might regress a little, but it will almost certainly remain elite.

He does not turn the ball over.

He is a good free throw shooter, and he can hit the open jumper.

Now, his shooting percentages are nothing to write home about, they are certainly lower than I would like. Also, for being a good free throw shooter, he rarely gets to the line.

He ranks high on most advanced metrics.

Seriously, I think this kid can be a star. If he continues to develop at the rate he has and doesn't plateau, he can be a beast in this league.

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2013, 09:55:32 AM »

Offline RyNye

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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.

For what it's worth, Jared Sullinger is 2nd on our team in terms of defensive efficiency rating, behind KG. I don't think defensive stats tell the whole story, obviously, and KG's defensive brilliance is especially difficult to capture numerically. Still, it is impressive that Sullinger rates as high as he does on that end.

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2013, 09:56:00 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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I think Sully has some MAJOR potential that people are really overlooking.

His defense is rapidly improving (and, in fact, even at the beginning of the season his defense wasn't as bad as some people on these forums like to make it out to be. Statistically, his defense was a hair below average, but not terrible, now it is above average).

People on the forums like to say he isn't a good shot blocker, but if you look at his block percentage (that is, given the amount of minutes he plays, the percent of opponent shots that end in a block for him), he is actually above the league average. Not by much, admittedly, but he is a better shot-blocker than people give him credit for.

His defensive rebounding is phenomenal.

His offensive rebounding is out of this world. His offensive rebounding rate is 12.4%, good for 21st in the league. For a rookie, that's awesome.

He is averaging 1.35 points per play on those offensive rebounds/putbacks. That is good for 5th in the league. That is ... astounding. This number is skewed a bit by sample size, admittedly, but historically offensive rebounding/putbacks are a consistent stat (that is, if you look at other players in the history of the league, there usually was very little variation in their offensive rebounding/putback efficiencies over the course of their careers, even adjusting for minutes played). So you expect with a greater sample size this might regress a little, but it will almost certainly remain elite.

He does not turn the ball over.

He is a good free throw shooter, and he can hit the open jumper.

Now, his shooting percentages are nothing to write home about, they are certainly lower than I would like. Also, for being a good free throw shooter, he rarely gets to the line.

He ranks high on most advanced metrics.

Seriously, I think this kid can be a star. If he continues to develop at the rate he has and doesn't plateau, he can be a beast in this league.
All true. Still doesn't mean he's "almost as good as KG defensively" for the team right now.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2013, 09:59:03 AM »

Offline Chris

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I think Sully has some MAJOR potential that people are really overlooking.

His defense is rapidly improving (and, in fact, even at the beginning of the season his defense wasn't as bad as some people on these forums like to make it out to be. Statistically, his defense was a hair below average, but not terrible, now it is above average).

People on the forums like to say he isn't a good shot blocker, but if you look at his block percentage (that is, given the amount of minutes he plays, the percent of opponent shots that end in a block for him), he is actually above the league average. Not by much, admittedly, but he is a better shot-blocker than people give him credit for.

His defensive rebounding is phenomenal.

His offensive rebounding is out of this world. His offensive rebounding rate is 12.4%, good for 21st in the league. For a rookie, that's awesome.

He is averaging 1.35 points per play on those offensive rebounds/putbacks. That is good for 5th in the league. That is ... astounding. This number is skewed a bit by sample size, admittedly, but historically offensive rebounding/putbacks are a consistent stat (that is, if you look at other players in the history of the league, there usually was very little variation in their offensive rebounding/putback efficiencies over the course of their careers, even adjusting for minutes played). So you expect with a greater sample size this might regress a little, but it will almost certainly remain elite.

He does not turn the ball over.

He is a good free throw shooter, and he can hit the open jumper.

Now, his shooting percentages are nothing to write home about, they are certainly lower than I would like. Also, for being a good free throw shooter, he rarely gets to the line.

He ranks high on most advanced metrics.

Seriously, I think this kid can be a star. If he continues to develop at the rate he has and doesn't plateau, he can be a beast in this league.
All true. Still doesn't mean he's "almost as good as KG defensively" for the team right now.

Yeah, well, I think we need to just take the hyperbole with a grain of salt, and just look at the idea that Sully is quietly becoming and important defensive piece to this team. 

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2013, 09:59:35 AM »

Offline kozlodoev

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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.
Not aware of this metric, who publishes the statistic?
For what it's worth, Jared Sullinger is 2nd on our team in terms of defensive efficiency rating, behind KG. I don't think defensive stats tell the whole story, obviously, and KG's defensive brilliance is especially difficult to capture numerically. Still, it is impressive that Sullinger rates as high as he does on that end.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #20 on: January 07, 2013, 10:02:21 AM »

Offline fandrew

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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.

You are right, what should have been said was that Sully is ok, but sucks compared to KG.

"Almost as good on defense for the celtics as KG" the bold part is important because it implies not that he is KG's equal, but that his contribution is equally important because KG cannot be the sole defender on the team.

You are overthinking the praise rather than looking at why he is praised.

RyNye makes good points about how good Sully is and is getting.

No one is saying trade KG because we have Sully now.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #21 on: January 07, 2013, 10:17:27 AM »

Online pearljammer10

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I don't care how good his defense efficiency stats are or what not. To say he is almost as important on defense to the Celtics KG is monumentally absurd.

I love the kid, he has made incredible improvements on both ends of the floor, mainly on defense. He is getting down the rotations and is really getting set up to take charges since we know he isnt going to get many blocks. I am comfortable having him play big minutes because he is such a good rebounder and can hold his own on defense.

He does have potential but I am always leary of how a ceiling undersized PF's with no above the rim game can go. It looks like Sully has the mindset and Basketball IQ to be an exception to the undersized PF unwritten rule.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #22 on: January 07, 2013, 10:20:17 AM »

Online triboy16f

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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?

Yes you are missing lots. When he is on the court we are a plus on the court for the most part. Also to come back to your points, even though he is not a feared shot blocker, he seems to always be with his man and have a hand on the ball to alter shots from going in. He is rarely late on rotations now due to increased quickness he has gained. And lastly when he is on the floor other teams can't get offensive rebounds BC either he grabs it or prevents other guys from getting near the paint. His defense is truly underrated
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #23 on: January 07, 2013, 10:20:49 AM »

Online Roy H.

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Statistically, Sullinger's defense has been excellent across the board.  Now, some of this is the "KG Effect", as Stiemer and Bass both were statistically top defenders last year, too.  However, numbers suggest Sully is doing a good job out there:

Sully's Points per possession allowed:

Overall:  .73 (rank: 26th in the entire NBA)
Isolation: .62 (31st)
Post-up: .69 (32nd)
P&R Man: .92 (27th)
Spot Up: .76 (41st)

KG's Points per possession allowed:

Overall:  .74 (rank: 29th in the entire NBA)
Isolation: .55 (16th)
Post-up: .63 (17th)
P&R Man: .86 (22nd)
Spot Up: .84 (73rd)


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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2013, 10:22:04 AM »

Offline ssspence

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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.

I think in the Cs case, rebounding is defense, when you consider 1) how many offensive boards and second chance points they've been giving up, and 2) the resulting pace they're forced to play when misses don't turn into the fast breaks in the other direction they should be.

What's the point of playing 24 seconds of D if you're going to let team stroll in for O boards / easy scores from the misses you create? It deflates the team badly each and every time. 

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2013, 10:24:25 AM »

Online triboy16f

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I forgot to mention he also sacrifices the body to take charges.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2013, 10:25:14 AM »

Online SHAQATTACK

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Young KG of 15 years ago could block a shot , snatch it out of the air , disappear down court for a monster slam at the other end before his opponent could realize what had happened. Sully is really good rookie , but KG was jaw dropping amazing at Minn at times like Lebron.

Sully is starting to close in on BIG BABY for defense , they both play a flat footed game , and use bulk to keep their man away from the glass.

Sully is definelty longer than Baby , greatest asset is he already knows how to play under the rim .  How to hold, push , shove , cheat , whatever that takes years for many guys to learn.  Sully loves to boxout and this is old school basketball at its best.  He loves the contact.

What is amazing is he is doing this at what 20 years old? Only two years of college ball experience. Impresive.

Sully and AB play old school Celtics basketball and are fun to watch, no they aren't about to take top defensive man title from KG on the Celtics .

KG is the enforcer even in his twilight years.   

Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2013, 10:44:32 AM »

Online hwangjini_1

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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?

in general i agree. but sully is a rookie, one who is not averaging 30 minutes a night. so he is indeed a very very early work in progress. right now, his defense is not stellar.

but, one context for this discussion might also to project his defensive ceiling. always iffy to do, but also fun. :)

sully does not have great height or athleticism. but neither is he terribly slow or stiff.

his best defensive attribute i think (and feel free to add or subtract) is his intelligence. he is smart and learns quickly. when he first was trying to play defense he was completely lost on how and when to switch. the result was bad defense and a generous helping of fouls. but he has been learning quickly and commits fewer mistakes.

his defense is still a work in progress, but better. he does position himself better as well i noticed.

sully also does not shrink from contact, meaning he is willing to play hard under the basket and take/make contact. that too can be a form of defense, such as boxing out, getting rebounds (so the other team gets no second shot).

i dont think he will ever be an elite shot blocker or KG-level one-on-one defender. he lacks the quickness, length, and leaping ability.

but i think sully can play intelligent and very good team defense while boxing out, playing strong under the basket, and rebounding. within the correct system he can be a plus and good contributor to the celtics' defense.

so...maybe it comes down to how we are defining "defense" when we talk about sully.
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2013, 11:09:22 AM »

Online triboy16f

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And you know shot blocking is not the only or main indicator of great defense. At times these guys get out of position to block and can't recover to defend other guys or prevent offensive rebounds. These days sully has also not got take  adv from anyone he assigned to. Bigger or faster , it doesn't matter. Ask blatche, horford or josh smith
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Re: High praise for Sullinger from Thorpe
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2013, 11:11:02 AM »

Online pearljammer10

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And he is finally a big man that BOXES OUT! Its amazing how much difference this makes when a guy can get a good box out going.
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