Boston Celtics: Jared Sullinger and Kris Joseph Shine as Fab Melo Struggles
When the Boston Celtics took Fab Melo with the 22nd overall pick in the 2012 draft, they were hoping that the seven footer would be able to develop into a top-defensive center in the league.
It was widely known that Melo still had quite a lot of growing up to do—both on and off the court, and already in this summer-league play his immaturity has shown during his limited play.
In Monday afternoon's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Melo had the least impact in the game out of all the 2012 draft picks, totaling just 14 minutes of on-court action.
Fellow draftees Jared Sullinger (21st pick) and Kris Joseph (51st pick) left Melo in the dust and had solid performances of their own. Sullinger led the team in scoring, totaling 20 points and six rebounds, while Kris Joseph had an effective all around game with seven points, four rebounds and two steals.
The two would earn starting roles in their next game against the Brooklyn Nets that was played earlier today.
Melo was again awarded dismal playing time, accumulating just 13 minutes of on-court action against the Nets, tallying one block, zero points and five rebounds. His timid play from Monday's game carried over, as Melo looked uncomfortable in the paint and failed to use his size effectively.
While Melo struggled, his new teammates and 2012 draft comrades continued to shine for the Celtics.
Sullinger led the way in terms of minutes played and rebounds, totaling 30 minutes and 12 boards. He would also finish with eight points despite an erratic shooting display of 3-12 from the field including two ill-advised three-point shots.
Kris Joseph had an all-around performance for the Celtics for the second game in a row, attacking the basket effectively on both ends. Joseph finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists in over 25 minutes of action.
It was expected that Melo would need time to learn the game at the professional level before he would become a quality player, and it is certainly too early to write him off as a first-round bust.
This said, it cannot be denied that his teammates are outplaying him by a significant margin already in their short NBA careers. While Melo continues to struggle to find his professional identity, the other Celtics rookies are making statements and advancing up the team hierarchy.
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