BOSTON - Some players can be plugged into just about any unit.
Jared Sullinger is one of those players.
While Sullinger got the start in Saturday's win over the Cavs, it was his play with the second unit in the second quarter that really stood out.
The Celtics started the quarter with a two-point lead, and ended it with a 15-point lead. When Sullinger exited the game with 2:50 left in the quarter, the C's were up 10 points. They scored 35 points in the quarter, with Sullinger scoring six of his eight in that span.
"That was on purpose," Brad Stevens said. "That's just in an attempt to get more scoring in certain lineups. A little bit more balance so that we can continue to go with that. That may have thrown him off his rhythm a little bit, but he'll get used to it."
Sullinger didn't have a great game overall - 4-14 for eight points and three rebounds - but he doesn't think that playing with a different group of guys was the reason. Just an off day, he said.
He also doesn't mind playing with the second unit.
"It's my teammates. Regardless whatever unit it is we're just playing hard and we're just plugging away. We share the ball like a team and we just play hard. That's what the second unit does, that's what any unit does. We're just looking for the win."
Here's the good, the bad, and the ugly from Saturday's game.
Controlling the boards
Not having Andrew Bynum obviously helped the Celtics a bit, but even so, the Cavs have big bodies and big rebounders on their squad. The Celtics, who everybody knows is a small team, out-rebounded them anyways. Boston took the rebounding edge, 43-40, and even better, limited the Cavs to 10 offensive rebounds. The Cavs are ranked 8th in the NBA in offensive rebounds, averaging 12 per game. The C's grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, three more than their average.
Giving up leads
Yes, everybody knows that a double-digit lead in the NBA is worth nothing. Rarely do they last. In the case of the Celtics, they seem to never last. Boston led by 19 − 19! - going into the 4th quarter, and it looked like they would rout the Cavs much like they did in the teams' meeting a month ago. Nope. Instead, Boston shot an ugly 26.3-percent from the field to Cleveland's 60-percent. The Cavs almost doubled the C's scoring in the quarter, 34-18.
You really aren't all that surprised, are you? Based on the way things went - or didn't - in Philadelphia, it's no shock to see that Andrew Bynum reportedly just doesn't have it in him to play basketball and love it. The Cavs suspended Bynum indefinitely prior to Saturday's game, and it appears that he's played his final game for the Cavs in his short time there. It looks like all the injuries finally took their toll. That's a shame for the Cavs, who took a chance on him and thought he could be a real contributor. The question: Does another team take a chance on him? I think so. If it's for short money and not a multi-year deal, you can definitely expect winning teams to jump at the chance to add the seven-footer to their roster, even if he isn't fully healthy or committed. I'd be shocked if he ever got a multi-year deal again.