Sullinger reminds Garnett of former C's center Perkins

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Sullinger reminds Garnett of former C's center Perkins

WALTHAM Although Kendrick Perkins didn't put up big numbers while with the Boston Celtics, he brought something to the floor that the C's definitely needed.

Rookie Jared Sullinger isn't the same kind of player, but he too has shown the potential to have a similarly important, but stealth-like impact this season.

"He reminds me of Perk," said Boston's Kevin Garnett. "He's not obviously the defensive player that Perk was, but as far as IQ, moving the ball and being unselfish, he's a great teammate."

Perkins, who was the starting center on Boston's 2008 title squad, was traded to Oklahoma City in 2010.

When told about Garnett's comparing him to Perkins, Sullinger responded, "Kevin doesn't give anybody praise; it means he likes you, I guess."

There's a lot to like about Sullinger, who continues to prove that him slipping to No. 21 in last June's NBA draft will be remembered as a gaffe on the part of several GMs.

Coming off his first start of the season at Washington, Sullinger will likely get the starting nod again when the C's host the Wizards on Wednesday.

On Saturday against Washington, the 6-foot-9 burly forward had four points, seven rebounds and a blocked shot.

But like Perkins, numbers don't do justice to the impact that his mere presence had as a positive for the Celtics.

"Jared understands what we're doing. He's a no-nonsense guy," Garnett said. "The young fella comes in, does his job, does what you tell him."

And the message for Sullinger these days is two-fold: rebound and defend.

Rebounding hasn't been much of an issue, especially on the offensive glass where he has already distinguished himself as the best player the C's have in that category.

Although he's eighth on the team in minutes played this season, Sullinger ranks second (five) in offensive rebounds, and eighth overall among rookies.

But like most first-year players, his defense is very much a work in progress.

And work is what he appears to be all about these days, evident by him being among the last players off the floor after most practices.

Sullinger seems to understand that for him to be the kind of player he envisions himself developing into, he must continue to work on his game.

"I feel really good," Sullinger told CSNNE.com. "Just have to understand my role, and that's rebounding. Scoring is going to be there at times, but right now everything has to go through Paul (Pierce), (Rajon) Rondo and Kevin (Garnett)."

Looking at the talent that's around him, Sullinger has no problem being a role player.

"Every basketball team, you have your superstars and then you have your role players who really came into their own," he said. "You just have to know who you are playing with."

The C's certainly know who they are playing with in Sullinger - a rookie who is wise beyond his years.

Scott's taste of big-league life with Red Sox has him hungering for more

Scott's taste of big-league life with Red Sox has him hungering for more

CHESNUT HILL -- The Red Sox Rookie Development Program is designed to help young players prepare for what playing at the major-league level is like,. That can be valuable for a prospect like Rafael Devers, who hasn’t even made it to Double-A.

But of the eight-man cast at the workout this year, there’s one guy who actually has major-league experience.

Robby Scott joined the Red Sox as a September call-up last season and turned some heads, holding opponents scoreless over six innings of work.

Now the lefty is back working with younger guys to prepare himself for spring training -- something he’s itching to get started.

“It’s one thing that we always talk about,” the left-handed reliever told CSNNE.com “It’s a tough road to get there, but it’s an even tougher and harder road to stay there. And having that taste in September last year was incredible to be a part of it.”

That taste Scott had last fall has only made the desire to rejoin Boston greater.

“Yeah, because now you know what it’s like,” Scott said CSNNE.com. “You see it and you’re there and you’re a part of it. And it’s like, ‘Man, I wanna be there.’ You’re a little bit more hungry.”

And his hunger to pitch with the Red Sox only becomes greater at an event like this where he’s the only one with MLB time.

“They ask on a consistent basis,” Scott started, “ ‘What’s it like?’ ‘What was it like getting there the first day?’ ‘How did the guys react?’ ‘What was it like dealing with the media?’

“That’s what this program is here for, just to kind of gives these guys a little taste of what it is like and get familiar with the circumstances.

While the experience and constant discussion invites players to try to do more in the offseason or change their routine, the 27-year-old has stayed the course, trusting what’s gotten him there.

“The offseason training stays the same, nothing really changes on that side of things,” Scott said. “Nothing changes. Go about my business the way I have the last six, seven years.”

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Thursday, Jan. 19: Torts doesn't think LeBron could play hockey

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading while wondering if the Bruins are ever going to poop, or get off the pot.
 
*John Tortorella wants everybody to know that he thinks there isn’t a chance that Lebron James could play hockey.
 
*In the interest of self-promotion, here’s my radio hit with Toucher and Rich this morning about whether or not Claude Julien should be fired after back-to-back bad losses against the Islanders and Red Wings.
 
*How did Shane Doan arrive at an unhappy place with the Arizona Coyotes where he now is open to moving elsewhere ahead of the trade deadline?
 
*Henrik Lundqvist’s season is entering a crisis level based on what he’s done, and the diminished performance level he’s showing as a more mature goaltender.
 
*A nice piece with a Canadian hockey hero, Hayley Wickenheiser, who recounts some of the legendary moments of her career through a series of pictures.
 
*I totally respect the work that Travis Yost does, but stating the Bruins should stick with Claude Julien because their shooting percentage is bound to turn around isn’t good enough grounds to keep a floundering situation intact, in my opinion. You need to check where the shots are coming from and how many of those shot attempts are completely missing the net to get a better grasp on some of the reasons behind Boston’s dreadful 10-year low shooting percentage. That would also explain some of the reason why Julien needs to be replaced coaching a team that’s largely content on perimeter shots to do it for them while also only sporadically showing the effort required from a middle class talent type of team.

*The Lightning are struggling at Joe Namath levels right now without Steve Stamkos in their lineup, and they need that to change.
 
*For something completely different: congrats to the Boston boys in New Edition for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.