Doc on Sullinger's All-Star snub: 'He'll make it eventually'

978189.jpg

Doc on Sullinger's All-Star snub: 'He'll make it eventually'

BOSTON Kevin Garnett, who was voted in as an All-Star starter, will be the lone representative for the Boston Celtics during All-Star weekend with Jared Sullinger not being named to the 18-player roster (nine rookies, nine second-year player) for the Rising Stars challenge.
"He'll make it eventually," said Celtics coach Doc Rivers. "Maybe not that team, but he'll be in the league a long time and I think he'll be happier with that in the long run."
The rookies chosen to the team were comprised of three big men -- New Orleans' Anthony Davis, Detroit's Andre Drummond and Ceveland's Tyler Zeller.
Sullinger said in an earlier interview that he wasn't giving too much thought to whether he made the team or not.
"That stuff is nice and everything, but I want to just keep getting better and help this team win games," he told CSNNE.com.
Indeed, Sullinger's growth as a player has been a factor in him evolving from a player off the bench into the team's starting power forward.
"He has improved as a player, but I already thought he was good when he came in," Rivers said. "I would love to say it was us, but it was him. He does all the work, all the reps and he had most of that before he got here.
"It took him some time to get comfortable with what we're doing and with himself in the league," Rivers added. "That's the biggest thing. But he's been terrific for us."
Sullinger's knack for offensive rebounding has been one of strengths thus far, along with his scoring touch around the basket.
However, Rivers also likes the fact that Sullinger is a good passer, something he recognized when Sullinger was in high school playing in AAU tournaments against Rivers' son, Austin, who plays for the New Orleans Hornets.
"Probably the college coaches who played against him realized he was a good passer," Rivers said. "But the NBA probably didn't know that. He's been trapped his entire life. He's been bigger than everybody since high school, so I've seen him trapped and figure it out and make passes through it."
But like most rookies -- especially big men -- Sullinger's defense has been a work in progress.
"He does a good job of fouling," quipped Rivers who then added, "He's been terrific. He's very, very smart and I think he learns each guy each night each time he plays someone different. He's been fooled a lot and the next time we play that same team, he's not. That tells you he's learning."

WATCH: Celtics vs. Trail Blazers

WATCH: Celtics vs. Trail Blazers

Tune into CSN to watch the Celtics host the Portland Trail Blazers at TD Garden. You can also click here to watch the Celtics livestream presented by McDonald's on the NBC Sports App. Coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. with Celtics Pregame Live Presented by ACE Ticket.

- Game Preview: Evan Turner returns to TD Garden

- Channel Finder: Make sure you know where to watch

[SHOP: Gear up, Celtics fans!]

- NBC Sports App FAQ: All your questions answered

- Latest on the Celtics: All of the most recent news and notes

- Talk about the game via social media on CSN's Pulse, presented by Ford

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

Bradley still hurting, will miss Celtics game vs. Trail Blazers

WALTHAM, Mass. – The right Achilles’ strain that has kept Avery Bradley out of five of the Celtics’ past six games, will continue to keep the 6-foot-2 guard sidelined.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Bradley will not play Saturday against the Portland Trail Blazers.
 
Stevens added that no additional tests have been taken and the Achilles’ itself is structurally fine.
 
“He’s got a lot of soreness around it, and that’s one of those things you have to be ultra-careful with,” said Stevens, who later added that Bradley would not practice with the team today. “When he [Bradley] came back, he said he felt a lot better, and then he played and the next day he practiced. We didn’t do anything live but he did a lot of cutting and did not feel near as good. That’s why he didn’t play Wednesday.”
 
The absence of Bradley was clearly felt in a 117-106 loss to the New York Knicks on Wednesday, a game in which Knicks guard Derrick Rose – the man Bradley would have likely spent defending most of the game – scored 30 points.
 
This season, all-NBA first team defender is  the Celtics’ No. 2 scorer at 17 points per game along with averaging a team-best 6.9 rebounds.
 
In addition, Bradley is shooting a career-best 40.9 percent from 3-point range, as well as dishing out 2.4 assists per game, which also represents a career-high for the 26-year-old.