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Pretty much how his rookie year has gone
Falling from a lottery pick to late in the first round made Jared Sullinger one of the most interesting rookies from the start.
How many players go from the top to the bottom as quickly as he did, and all because he might have future back problems?
The man had so much to prove and got off to a quick start in the summer league.
He put up 11.2 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. What was more impressive was how explosive he looked.
They did say that he could suffer from back problems, right? It would have been difficult to tell.
The preseason rolled around and he averaged almost identical numbers in 26 minutes per game. This was more impressive because he was going against legitimate NBA talent. It looked like the Celtics ended up with a steal when they drafted him at No. 21.
Fast forward to the present day and you'll see him averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds through 14 games.
Why the sudden disappearance?
This one is pretty simple: He's just not quite ready yet.
He played well against summer league players and showed that he can hang with second-stringers in the NBA preseason, but the regular season is a different beast.
Teams focus their game plan on specific players with the purpose of taking them out of what they do best. Opposing coaches have figured out Sullinger's game and are making adjustments accordingly.
The disappointment comes from how people expected a little more from him. He doesn't need to be a double-double guy yet, but he should be producing at a slightly higher level.
Being a one-dimensional player is hurting Sullinger's production right now. He doesn't have multiple go-to moves that can counter defenders, and he hasn't figured out the nuances of the game yet.
That will all come with time, though.
For now, he needs to battle through some of the struggles that a young rookie is bound to go through.