OFFSEASON

Snubbing Sullinger

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Snubbing Sullinger

If you thought losing Rajon Rondo was a tough blow for the Celtics, wait until you get a load of this

Jared Sullinger wasnt selected for this years Rising Stars Challenge.

OK, so maybe (maybe!) thats not quite as bad, but still . . . come on. If anyone on this year's Celtics deserves that kind of recognition, it's Sullinger. He's the highlight of Boston's season. And it's hard to believe there are nine rookies more worthy of the Rising Stars roster.

Hell, Sully should make it on physique alone.

The Widowmaker is serious All-Star material.

Then again, when you look at the guys who did make the cut, the snub is somewhat understandable. You've got Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Dion Waiters, Bradley Beal, Andre Drummond, Harrison Barnes, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Alexey Shved, and Tyler Zeller. All nine are playing more minutes than Sully this season, all nine are averaging more points and the three post players on the roster (Davis, Drummond and Zeller) are all averaging more rebounds as well.

If there's one point of contention, it's Zeller. The UNC product is averaging 8.3 points and 6.2 boards over 27 minutes a night for the Cavs. Meanwhile, Sullinger averages 6.1 points and 6.2 rebounds in only 20 minutes. When you factor in Sully playing in a bigger market for a better team, I think he should have made it.

But here's the good news: He'll probably make it anyways.

I mean what would All-Star weekend be without at least a handful of players dropping out with injuries? We already saw it with Rondo, and it won't end there. Chances are that at least one of these nine rookies will turn an ankle or bang a knee over the next two and a half weeks.

Not that anyone is rooting for that to happen, but it's the nature of the game. And if the Rookies are in need of a replacement, you can bet the Sullinger will get the call.

Just in time for him and the Widowmaker to head off and make All-Star history.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

OFFSEASON

Who will make the Celtics roster?

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Who will make the Celtics roster?

BOSTON – Regardless of what the Celtics do in the offseason, there will always be position battles in training camp.

But when the players arrive in a few weeks, a handful will have more at stake than just a roster spot.

Boston currently has 18 players with full or partially guaranteed contracts, a number that has to be pared down to 15 or less by the time the regular season begins.

The math is pretty cut and dry. Barring a trade, at least three players have to be let go.

But who will they be?

That’s for Brad Stevens and the rest of the Celtics brass to figure out.

In the meantime, here’s a look at five Celtics who, barring a trade, are likely to be among the pool of players Boston will be picking from for what should be the last couple of roster spots.

OFFSEASON

Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

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Boston Celtics announce 2016 preseason schedule

New England fans will get their first glimpse at the 2016-2017 Boston Celtics when they kick off their preseason schedule on October 4 against the Philadelphia 76ers at UMass-Amherst’s Mullins Center.

That game will feature two of the top three picks in last month’s draft as Ben Simmons, the top overall pick, will face Jaylen Brown, who was drafted by the Celtics with the third overall pick.

Boston’s 7-game schedule features no back-to-back games, but they do face the Charlotte Hornets in their second and third preseason games on Oct. 6 (in Greensboro, N.C.) and Oct. 8 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Here’s a look at Boston’s full preseason schedule:

DATE               OPPONENT                  LOCATION                                                        TIME
Oct. 4               Philadelphia 76ers         UMass-Amherst Mullins Center (Amherst, MA)     7:00 p.m. ET
Oct. 6               Charlotte Hornets          Greensboro Coliseum (Greensboro, NC)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 8               Charlotte Hornets          Mohegan Sun Arena (Uncasville, CT)                  3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 13             Brooklyn Nets               Barclays Center (Brooklyn, NY)                          7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 15             New York Knicks           Madison Square Garden (New York, NY)             7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17             Brooklyn Nets               TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 19             New York Knicks           TD Garden (Boston, MA)                                   7:30 p.m. ET