Sullinger shaping up for increased role on Celtics

Sullinger shaping up for increased role on Celtics
July 2, 2014, 3:45 pm
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(USA Today Sports Images)

WALTHAM, Mass. — Jared Sullinger still has that big body frame which has served him well in the NBA.

And while transforming his physique would certainly help, changing up his game is even more important.

Sullinger had a solid second season with Boston, averaging 13.3 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. But there were too many games for Sullinger or the Celtics' liking when he could not be on the court too long because of his conditioning.

That's why Sullinger isn't as focused on trimming a few pounds this summer; but rather toning up his game for what will likely be an increased role from the 27.6 minutes per game he averaged last season.

"I'm not really focusing on weight," said Sullinger who said he will not travel with the team when they head to Orlando later this week for summer league play. "It's more shape, how long I can run, how fast I can run.

In addition to long workout sessions with the team's strength and conditioning staff, Sullinger has also practiced some with the Celtics' summer league team.

The 6-foot-9 forward has been back and forth between Boston and his Columbus, Ohio hometown working on improving his conditioning which he readily admits hasn't been where he would like it to be in the past.

That's why his mission this summer is pretty simple when it comes to prepping for next season.

"Pretty much how long I can stay on the court without passing out," Sullinger said.  "I'm working on that every day."