LAS VEGAS — Jared Sullinger‘s game is as uncomplicated as it is earth-bound. He doesn’t have the athleticism of most of his opponents, but once he gets a feel he finds ways to compensate. Of all the good things about his game, Sullinger simply plays right through defenders and forces them to foul.
After scoring just five points in the first half, Sullinger found his rhythm in the second half of the Celtics ‘ 87-69 victory over the Hawks and he did his best work at the free throw line where he made seven of his eight attempts. He also knocked down a wide-open 3-pointer (emphasis on wide open).
Now that we’ve established that Sullinger can play in the NBA, it’s time for him to work on his weaknesses. First and foremost, he needs to get in better shape. “I know for a fact I’m getting in better shape with all the games were playing so everything is starting to come easy,” he said.
It won’t be nearly as easy this fall when the Celtics gather for training camp and Sullinger is already anticipating his first meeting with Kevin Garnett .
“I still have a lot to learn so I hope Kevin Garnett is ready for me,” he said.
Asked is he was looking forward to it, Sullinger said, “Yeah, but at the same time, no. It’s probably going to be all the things I don’t do well versus all the things I do well ‘¦ which I need.”
Another day, another win for the Celtics in their summer league tour. After winning four of their five games in Orlando, the Celtics looked weary and fatigued at the start against the Hawks.
They made just two of their first 12 shots and looked to be in danger of getting run out Cox Pavilion. Like their grown-up counterparts, the baby C’s stayed in the game with their defense and once they found their offensive legs, the game was over.
The Hawks shot just 36 percent and the C’s made nine of their 20 shots from behind the arc and were plus-nine at the free throw line. It was a balanced effort all the way around as and Kris Joseph each scored 14 points and five others reached double figures. Joseph’s performance mirrored the rest of the game as he started slowly and picked it up in the second half.
“He was 1-for-5 in the first half and had his head down,” said Celtics coach Ty Lue. “We don’t care about missed shots, we don’t care about turnovers, we just want to play hard and play together. If you mess up we don’t care about that. We just want you to play hard, play the right way. If you do that. If you’re doing too much we’ll let you know.”
Dionte Christmas had another solid all-around performance with 11 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Jonathan Gibson (11) and Jamar Smith (10) also played well off the bench.
The results weren’t as positive for JaJuan Johnson  who finished with six points and six rebounds on just four shots. Johnson’s game is pick-and-pop and Lue said he’ll do better with Rajon Rondo  on the court to get him shots. However, Johnson has struggled to get into a flow in summer league and his transition opportunities have been rare.
Sean Williams  played six minutes in the first half and then didn’t see the court in the second. He tweaked an ankle in practice and Lue didn’t want to take a chance.
At the moment, there is still no resolution in the C’s search for another guard. They’re hopeful they can wrap things up this week and with a decision due on E’Twaun Moore ‘s contract by midnight on Sunday, that may serve as something of a deadline.