Sullinger finding his shooting range

Sullinger finding his shooting range
November 28, 2013, 9:00 am
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(USA Today Sports Images)


BOSTON — The scouting report, much like Jared Sullinger's shooting range, is expanding before our very eyes.

Sullinger had 23 points and 12 rebounds in the Celtics' 100-93 loss to Memphis, which ended a two-game winning streak.

The buzz afterward centered around a pair of 3-pointers Sullinger hit in the final 1:43 as the Celtics tried to rally from a deficit that peaked at 19 points.

"I just wanted to win," Sullinger said. "Just kept fighting. I felt like it was an opportunity to assert myself and try to score the basketball."

Throughout his career, Sullinger has given opponents fits with his rebounding and ability to score around the basket, so the idea of him becoming a 3-point shooter may seem a bit of a stretch.

However, the more you watch him and the Celtics play, the idea of Sullinger as a 3-point shooter grows on you in the mold of another big man, 3-ball shooter, Minnesota's Kevin Love.

Sullinger has said in the past that Love is a player that he looks up to and, to some degree, tries to emulate.

Games such as the one he had on Wednesday show that he's indeed trending in that direction as a player.

Boston guard Jordan Crawford has seen enough of Sullinger in practice to know that Sullinger's 3-point shot is something that can only help the Celtics in the long run.

"He's been good from the trey [3-pointer] this year," Crawford told CSNNE.com. "He takes it with confidence and it looks like it's going in. It's a good shot. We want him to take it."

And it's not just Sullinger's teammates, either.

Sullinger's biggest supporter in shooting more 3s is coach Brad Stevens.

Down the stretch of Wednesday's game, Stevens even began to call plays for Sullinger specifically looking for him to take whatever he felt was the best shot - even if it was a 3-pointer.

"I don't think he shoots enough of them," Stevens said. "And I've said that all year. The more games he gets under his belt, the more he plays, that shot's going to go in more often than not."

Said Sullinger: "[Stevens] He's always in my ear about shooting the ball. Sometimes I feel comfortable shooting, sometimes I don't. It's just a mindset. i have to understand if they're going to give me that shot, i have to take it."

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