Sullinger has smarts

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Sullinger has smarts

The Celtics are barely two weeks into the preseason, but the accolades are already coming fast and furious for rookie Jared Sullinger. Most recently, the focus has been on Sullinger's basketball IQ, with Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett both pointing out how well the rookie knows the game, and yesterday at practice, Rajon Rondo taking it to another level, saying that Sullinger is "probably the smartest rookie we've had since I've been here."

Before we get too carried away, let's take a second to remember the rookies who have played on the Celtics since Rondo joined the team: Gabe Pruitt, Glen Davis, J.R. Giddens, Billy Walker, Semih Erden, Lester Hudson, Luke Harandogy, Avery Bradley (smart, but was a nervous wreck as a rookie), E'Twaun Moore and JaJuan Johnson.

Right. So it's not like Sullinger has much competition. But more important than comparing him to past rookies, is the fact that Rondo thinks Sullinger has a strong IQ at all; strong enough to give his public blessing.

With guys as smart as Rondo or who fancy themselves as smart sometimes the hardest thing to do is give someone else credit for being smart. Guys like Rondo aren't easily impressed by other people's intelligence. And the fact that he felt the need to speak on the issue is an unbelievable sign. Because let's face it, with rookies, the game is just as much mental as it physical. Without the mental aspect, physical skills don't mean a thing. So at the very least, it's nice to know that Sullinger has that going for him. That after a mere two weeks, he's already earned the respect of the three most important guys in that locker room.

As for the physical? Sure looks like the kid can play the game as well as he understands it, but we'll find out more on Saturday in Hartford, when he gets his first taste of NBA competition.

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

Leon Powe talks about '08 Celtics, reunion with Ray Allen

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Leon Powe talks about '08 Celtics, reunion with Ray Allen

In this week's jam packed episode of CSNNE.com's "Celtics Talk Podcast", Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk with former Celtic Leon Powe about this year's team, plus his role on the 2008 Championship squad. Powe tells some great stories about Kevin Garnett, and has an interesting take on Ray Allen not being invited to the reunion vacation Rajon Rondo is planning.

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Also included in this week's episode, Brian Scalabrine's interview with head coach Brad Stevens, plus the "Celtics PostUp" crew talks with Jae Crowder about his many nicknames, whether the 1st seed in the East is important, and his improvement on the floor.

LaVar Ball: Don't know Ainge, but he was tough 'for a white guy'

LaVar Ball: Don't know Ainge, but he was tough 'for a white guy'

LaVar Ball said a bunch of crazy things Thursday during his appearance on WEEI’s Dale & Holley with Rich Keefe. Among them: He thinks that every white teenager gets a $100,000 car from their parents. 

The most notable for Celtics fans’ purposes as it relates to the chances of Lonzo Ball coming to Boston was that the father does not want the C’s to take the UCLA product with the potential first overall pick of the 2017 draft. He also vowed not to be a pain in Brad Stevens’ ass if the C’s do take the point guard. 

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Ball was also asked about Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge. He said that he doesn’t know Ainge and has never spoken to him, but he did have an interesting description of the scrappy Ainge’s playing days.  

“I don’t know anything about Danny Ainge, but I know when he was a player, he was one of them sticklers to get up under you, boy,” Ball said. “But I haven’t talked to him. I don’t know Danny Ainge, I just watched him play when he was younger and I knew for a white guy, you could elbow him in the face. He was going to get back up and keep playing.” 

Ball did not say whether he thinks his son would have a better playing career than Ainge, a one-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion, but that should be assumed.