In the Bonus: Sullinger continues scoring

In the Bonus: Sullinger continues scoring
December 21, 2013, 11:45 am
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BOSTON — If you had to name a breakout performer for the Boston Celtics this season, it would most likely be Jared Sullinger.

He has done more than just elevate his play to become a more consistent player. He is playing at a level now that makes him arguably the team's best overall player.

But for our purposes, we'll focus on what he seems to do best for the Celtics - score the ball.

He has always shown a knack for making baskets, except now they no longer come from around-the-basket lay-ups and put-backs.

Sullinger has introduced the 3-point shot to his growing cache of shots, and the results have been at the heart of him averaging 16.7 points in Boston's last 11 games compared to just 11.3 prior.

In his last 11 games, 3-pointers have accounted for 24.2 percent of his shots, a slight increase from 21.5 percent in the first 16.

More telling is what Sullinger has been able to do with more 3s taken.

The 6-foot-8 forward has shot the ball significantly better in all three major shooting zones - corner, top of the key and wing.

From the corner, he has shot 66.7 percent in the last 11 games after having failed to make any in the Celtics' first 16. From the top of the key, he's up to 57.1 percent compared to 16.7 percent earlier. And from the wing, he's shown a slight increase to 30.8 percent compared to 29.4 earlier.

"You have to pick and choose," Sullinger said. "I love playing inside. But at the same time, you have to pick and choose when you want to go inside, when you have to step out."