Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph both scored 14 a piece in a 87-69 victory over the Atlanta Hawks summer league team in the 2012 Las Vegas Summer League on Monday. Sullinger and Joseph were two of five Celtics players to reach double figures, while Sullinger also led the team with seven rebounds.
The game only further proves that Sullinger may be ready to come in and make a big impact from day 1. In the Orlando Summer League, Sullinger finished with averages of 13.8 points per game and 8.3 rebounds.
Sullinger’s inside/outside game should pay big dividends for Boston, as Sullinger may be the perfect backup for power forward Brandon Bass. Sullinger should be capable of providing 20 minutes a night, or more when the situation calls for it.
Look for coach Doc Rivers to work on integrating Sullinger slowly, but as his confidence builds in the OSU big man, the playing time will come.
Joseph further proved his weight as a scorer. He’s capable of putting up big numbers, and even as a second round pick stands a legit chance of making the roster.
Joseph’s scoring off the bench could prove huge as the Celtics sometimes struggled to score in the minutes when point guard Rajon Rondo had his breathers. Last season, Joseph averaged 13.4 points per game for Syracuse, but on such a balanced team, he wasn’t forced to showcase his scoring as much as he may have had to for another NCAA team. Joseph could someday eclipse his NCAA scoring average in the pros, given his good handles and motor. The Celtics may have got a huge steal in the draft, as I speculated after draft night.