Celtics rookies: What I didnt know about the NBA

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Celtics rookies: What I didnt know about the NBA

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com

Just like any new member of the Celtics, Avery Bradley, Luke Harangody, and Semih Erden had to learn the X's and O's of the system this season. The difference for these rookies is, they also had to get accustomed to life as a pro.

As they told CSNNE.com, they have been surprised to learn about life in the NBA.

Avery Bradley: Bradley had played on the big stage before. He won a national high school championship with Findlay Prep and played a year of college ball at the University of Texas before being selected with the 19th pick in the 2010 NBA Draft. Now is he trying to overcome ankle surgery and contribute to the Celtics, all while getting adjusted to a demanding schedule that has the 19-year-old in bed at the same time many people his age are just going out.

"You have to work hard," he emphasized. "Being a rookie, you have to work harder than everybody else because they expect you to not get tired as fast. They expect you to have young legs, things like that. I get here two hours before everybody else. Practice is at 11 a.m., I get here at 9. I wake up at 8:15. Everybody gets here around 9:30. I have to do a lot more extra stuff because of my ankle.

"It's tough because after practice you go so hard, you want to go home and go to sleep. But if you do that, youll be up all night. So you have to find a sleeping pattern. I go home, get something to eat, stay up, watch TV, and I wait until 10 and then I go to sleep. Then I get up and do it all over again."

Luke Harangody: There hasn't been much down time for this second-round pick from the University of Notre Dame. When he isn't practicing with the Celtics, he's sticking around at their training facility to get in extra workouts. And even though life on the road can be hard, he is learning a thing or two from his veteran teammates. The fans have helped ease the transition, too.
"The travel surprised me, getting into a city at 2 o'clock in the morning," he said. "There are so many back-to-backs in the NBA, you don't really see that in college where you never really travel from one city to another. Youre usually coming back to campus every time after a game. When you have a chance to get some sleep, I think you need to take care of your body. Watching the veterans, I learn from them and how they approach the game and how they take care of their bodies, especially in the training room.

"I was also surprised by the amount of time rookies have to get here early and put their work in. It's something that we want to do just to get better. We want to get here early and be the last ones out of the gym because as a younger guy, I dont get as many reps in at practice so I have to put more work in in the weight room and conditioning. I'll get here two hours before and leave an hour to two hours after. I like to get some shots up and conditioning on the floor. Usually we play two-on-two because the younger guys arent getting as many reps in practice.

"The atmosphere at the Garden threw me off guard. The fans love the Celtics and that was great to see and great to be a part of a team like that. They threw me out there for a preseason game introduction and that was pretty nerve-wracking, but I was happy to do that. It was great and I've even run into some fans who've said they were there for that and they told me what a good job I did. I told them they were just being nice (laughs)."

Semih Erden: Unlike Bradley and Harangody, Erden was drafted by the Celtics two years earlier in 2008. He returned to his native Turkey where he played pro ball and represented the country in the 2010 FIBA Championships. Before he came to Boston this summer, he enlisted the advice of a close friend to show him the ropes.

"I knew everything," he said. "I have my friends here - Hedo Turkoglu (Phoenix Suns) and Ersan Ilyasova (Milwaukee Bucks). So I asked Ersan and he explained what he does, so he helped me. I asked him about everything, travel, work outs, everything for basketball. It helped me a lot."

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.comJCameratoNBA.

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

Sullinger on Celtics: 'I watch from a distance, I support from a distance'

BOSTON – The trip to the TD Garden is one that Jared Sullinger has made many times but never like this. 

The former Celtic was back in town with his new team, the Toronto Raptors who signed him to a one-year, $5.6 million deal after the Celtics rescinded their qualifying offer to him and thus made him an unrestricted free agent. 

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“I had a feeling it was going to go that way once they signed big Al (Horford), that they were going to let me go,” Sullinger said prior to Friday’s game.  “We were prepared for it. It is what it is. I’m happy these guys are doing well.”

And he hopes to say the same for himself sometime in the future after undergoing surgery to have a screw inserted in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot – the same foot he had season-ending surgery on during the 2014-2015 season with the Celtics. 

There’s no specific timetable as to when he’ll be back on the floor, and Sullinger is cool with that plan. 

“I don’t know. They’re hiding the protocol from me so I won’t rush; we’ll see,” said Sullinger who is still in a walking boot. 

The 6-foot-9 forward played well in the preseason and solidified himself as the team’s starting power forward. 

Now that he’s out with another injury, he’ll have to once again try and prove himself either later this season when he returns, or this summer when he becomes a free agent again.

For now, Sullinger is happy to be back in town, seeing lots of familiar faces, friends and ex-teammates that he says he still keeps in close contact with. 

“Some of these guys I considered like brothers to me,” Sullinger said. “IT (Isaiah Thomas), Jae Crowder to name a few. So I watch from a distance, I support from a distance. They’re playing well.”

In addition to his former teammates, the lines of communication remained open between him and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens as well. 

Stevens said the two exchanged text messages right before he had foot surgery, and afterwards. 

“Obviously, everyone here wishes a speedy recovery and hopefully he gets back on the court soon,” Stevens said. 

Sullinger has been an effective player during his time in the NBA, with career averages of 11.1 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. 

But this will be the third time in his five NBA seasons that he will miss a significant amount of time on the court due to an injury or recovering from an injury. 

Stevens acknowledged that he feels for Sullinger who once again has to go through rehabilitation in order to get back on the floor.

“I like Jared a lot,” Stevens said. “He’s a heck of a player, he’s a really smart guy. Got a lot of respect for him and it stinks that he’s got to go through that but he’ll come back strong I’m sure.”