Boston Celtics

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.

NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

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NBA adds 'Harden Rule' and 'Zaza Rule' for players' safety

NEW YORK - NBA referees will be able to call flagrant or technical fouls on defenders who dangerously close on jump shooters without allowing them space to land, as Zaza Pachulia did on the play that injured Spurs star Kawhi Leonard in last season's playoffs.

Officials will also make sure jump shooters are in their upward shooting motion when determining if a perimeter foul is worthy of free throws, which could cut down on James Harden's attempts after he swings his arms into contact.

The new rules interpretations are being unofficially called the "Harden Rule" and the "Zaza Rule". The Washington Wizards accused the Celtics' Al Horford of a dangerous closeout on Markieff Morris that injured Morris and knocked him out of Game 1 of their playoff series two weeks before the Pachulia-Leonard play.

Leonard sprained his ankle when Pachulia slid his foot under Leonard's in Game 1 of Golden State's victory in the Western Conference finals. After calling a foul, officials will now be able to look at a replay to determine if the defender recklessly positioned his foot in an unnatural way, which could trigger an upgrade to a flagrant, or a technical if there was no contact but an apparent attempt to injure.

"It's 100 percent for the safety of the players," NBA senior vice president of replay and referee operations Joe Borgia said Thursday.

The NBA had made the freedom to land a point of emphasis for officials a few years ago, because of the risk of injuries. 

Officials can still rule the play a common foul if they did not see a dangerous or unnatural attempt by the defender upon review. Borgia said Pachulia's foul would have been deemed a flagrant.

With the fouls on the perimeter shots - often coming when the offensive player has come off a screen and quickly attempts to launch a shot as his defender tries to catch up - officials will focus on the sequencing of the play. The player with the ball must already be in his shooting motion when contact is made, rather than gathering the ball to shoot such as on a drive to the basket.

"We saw it as a major trend in the NBA so we had to almost back up and say, `Well, wait a minute, this is going to be a trend, so let's catch up to it,"' NBA president of league operations Byron Spruell said.