Boston Red Sox

Sullinger out to prove his worth for Celtics

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Sullinger out to prove his worth for Celtics

ORLANDO, Fla. It's just a summer league game, the kind that in the grand scheme of things will mean little to the career of Jared Sullinger.

For Sullinger, today's summer league game against Oklahoma City was his first game as a member of the Boston Celtics, an unlikely destination for a player many expected to be long gone by the time Boston was on the clock at No. 21 in last month's NBA draft.

But having something to prove is nothing new to Sullinger, a burly big man who has had his game questioned throughout his career.

"Too slow, too big, too everything. I've heard it all about my game," he said. "All I can do is go out, play my game and help my team win. That's all I really care about."

Part of Sullinger's adjustment to the NBA will be playing the center position, something he says he's looking forward to doing.

"The only thing different is, the guy you're guarding (in the NBA) is a little bit more on the perimeter," Sullinger said. "In college, most of the fives (centers) are post players. Coming here, you got some fives that can shoot from the perimeter and you got some fives who all they do is roll. You just have to know the personnel."

In time, Sullinger said he plans to show that he is a more complete player than many believe.

"I can shoot from the perimeter some, but that wasn't something the teams I played for needed from me," he said. "Here, it's a part of my game that I'll probably use more of."

But his strength has always been his ability to make plays around the basket.

Moments after entering the game on Monday, Sullinger had a put-back basket following a Celtics miss.

And the questions about his ability to defend at this level, didn't materialize against the Thunder.

Of course, Oklahoma City's Ryan Reid is a lot different matching up against then say, Serge Ibaka or former Celtic Kendrick Perkins.

But Reid is a tweener size-wise, which forced Sullinger to rely more on his quickness defensively.

The bigger issue seemed to be Sullinger's ability to rebound the basketball.

He's not one to jump out of the gym and swoop in for rebounds, but he is smart enough to get the necessary position and force opponents to either give up the rebound or foul him.

Sullinger was indeed successful with that in the first quarter, nailing a pair of free throws after an Oklahoma City big man came over his back and fouled him.

He made both free throws to give the C's a 25-8 lead.

Even though Sullinger doesn't have to worry about his spot with the Celtics next season -- unlike many of his summer league teammates -- he understands the value of playing well right now.

"All these guys are fighting for jobs pretty much," Sullinger said. "Like I said earlier, I just want to play my game and compete every chance I get to play. That's all that I'm trying to really do, just play hard and compete."

Source: Despite addition of Nunez, Sox plan to keep Devers on roster

Source: Despite addition of Nunez, Sox plan to keep Devers on roster

BOSTON — Eduardo Nunez is expected to be activated Friday night, but he doesn't have third base all to himself. Rookie Rafael Devers is not going to be sent to the minors to make room, a baseball source told CSNNE on Friday.

The Red Sox announced a roster move for David Price, who went to the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. But the corresponding move to activate Nunez, whom the Red Sox acquired from the Giants in a trade for two minor leaguers, wasn't immediately clear. 

If there's no health situation at play and no one lands on the disabled list, Deven Marrero could be the odd man out.

Giardi: Two more picks for Jimmy G., but . . .

Giardi: Two more picks for Jimmy G., but . . .

FOXBORO -- The tweets stacked up on your timeline right around 12:30 this afternoon. Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions -- again.

What the 140 characters didn’t tell you was how they happened, or why.

The first was a wounded duck that had very little chance of success, save for the fact that Justin Coleman completely impeded Chris Hogan’s ability to compete for the ball (read: defensive pass interference). Safety Jordan Richards poached the ball as it fluttered to earth and the media tent started chirping.

The second came two throws later. Garoppolo zipped a ball to the back hip/shoulder of Devin Lucien in the end zone. Lucien initially had it, but a diving Eric Rowe ripped it from his hands for Rowe’s second pick of Garoppolo in two days.

“Whenever you throw an interception, whether it’s your testing someone out and giving a guy a chance, you never want to throw an int in the first place,” said Garoppolo after practice today.

Those INTs came on the heels of two interceptions yesterday. The first -- snagged by Richards -- was almost certainly a ball Garoppolo would never have thrown in a real game. That's a point that Bill Belichick and Tom Brady have hammered over and over in the last 17 years, that these day in late July and August, are a time for testing both yourself and your teammates.

“You always try to do the right thing in practice, but practice is also that time, especially in training camp,” noted Garoppolo, “ to try to give an opportunity to who you maybe wouldn’t in the regular season. It’s a time to gain trust in your teammates and give a guy an opportunity.”

Lucien had that opportunity today and had it wrestled away from him. Note taken and file saved. Maybe next time, Garoppolo -- or Brady, or Jacoby Brissett -- go a different direction. Or they hammer the point home.