OFFSEASON

Growing up on the glass Report: Ray one and done with Heat

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Growing up on the glass Report: Ray one and done with Heat

LAS VEGAS -- Jared Sullinger was raised on rebounding.

When most children were learning about the importance of sharing and playing well with others, he was being taught the value of crashing the boards and nabbing loose balls.

At the age of four.

My pops always told me to grab it off the boards, Sullinger told CSNNE.com at the NBA Las Vegas Summer League. Thats what I do.

The 6-9 forward averaged 9.2 rebounds his sophomore year at the Ohio State before being selected this summer by the Celtics with the 21st overall pick in the NBA Draft.

Sullinger averaged 8.3 rebounds a game at the Orlando Pro Summer League. With another week of summer league play coming up in Las Vegas, he's looking to improve his performance on the glass.

I played OK, he said of his Orlando performance. I could play better. I missed a lot of shots I normally make. Then Ive got to get on the offensive rebounds a little bit more and the defensive rebounds a little more. So youll probably see a little bit of that here.

Celtics Summer League head coach Tyronn Lue offered another perspective on Sullingers performance.

I thought since hes been such a great passer, we had him catching the ball on the elbow, playing away from the basket a lot, pick and pop, and stuff like that so he couldnt really get on the offensive glass, Lue said. But defensively, I thought he did a good job on the boards.

The Celtics were impressed by Sullingers rebounding skills when they drafted him. Adding another big to crash the boards should boost their roster. They were the worst rebounding team in the league last season with 38.8 per game and a differential of -4.4. They also finished last in the NBA in offensive rebounds with 7.7 per game, 6.2 less than the league-leading Chicago Bulls.

Sullingers not a sprinter by any stretch, but hes a rebounder and youve got to have the ball to run, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said on draft night. So I think thatll be important."

While Sullinger may be entering his first NBA season, the 20-year-old has been embracing rebounding for more than 15 years.

Its always a focus, he said. If you can rebound the basketball, youre always going to have a job here in the NBA. All youve got to do is rebound the basketball, and I take pride in that.

OFFSEASON

Could Kevin Durant's love for Larry Bird lead him to the Celtics?

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Could Kevin Durant's love for Larry Bird lead him to the Celtics?

In Episode 15 of CSN's "Celtics Talk" podcast, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely are joined by Anthony Slater of The Oklahoman to discuss the impending free agency of Kevin Durant, and how Boston fits into the puzzle of suitors. Slater talks about how the Thunder fan base is feeling right about now, after the team took the Warriors to seven games. 

As far as Boston is concerned, Slater talks about how Durant has always modeled his game after Celtics legend Larry Bird, and Boston is most likely looking to just get Durant in a room, talk to him about what the franchise is about, and then hope to make another run at him next summer.

Kyle and Sherrod also go over the Celtics’ 2016 draft class, including Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabusele, Ante Zizic, Demetrius Jackson, and Ben Bentil. Plus, where does the 2015 Celtics draft class find playing time this season.