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Jared Sullinger: Everybody Can 'Kiss Our Butts About That Tanking Stuff'

BOSTON, MA - NOVEMBER 15: Jared Sullinger #7 of the Boston Celtics reacts after losing the ball against the Portland Trailblazers in the first quarter during the game at TD Garden on November 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
Dan FavaleFeatured ColumnistDecember 2, 2013

Who're you calling a tank job?

The Boston Celtics aren't tanking. Those who say otherwise can salute Jared Sullinger's keister, according to the Boston Globe's Baxter Holmes:

But what about Andrew Wiggins? And Jabari Parker? And everyone else? Boston doesn't care:

Much ado has been made over tanking in the NBA this season, or Riggin' for Wiggins. Topping the list of the league's most blatant tank jobs were initially the Celtics, who dealt away Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Jason Terry over the offseason, hired rookie head coach Brad Stevens and ventured into the unknown without Rajon Rondo.

All signs pointed to losing, and lots of it.

Jabari and Andrew who?
Jabari and Andrew who?Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Losses haven't piled up the way we thought they would, though. Boston is 7-12 through its first 19 contests, a mere game back of the final playoff spot in the dismal Eastern Conference.

Wait—the playoffs? The Celtics? Something's not right. These Celtics, these Rondo-less, star-less Celtics, cannot be thinking playoffs.

Only they are. Sullinger is already calling Boston's next game against the Milwaukee Bucks a must-win for his team to remain in postseason contention.

"One, they beat us last time and, two, because we need a win to stay in the playoff rankings," Sully said, via ESPN Boston's Chris Forsberg. "It’s a must-win for us, I believe."

"Must" and "win" weren't supposed to be uttered successively in Beantown this season. Unless "must" was followed by "lose," there wouldn't be such jibber jabber.

Shame on us, then. Shame on us for not believing general manager Danny Ainge when he told the Boston Globe's Gary Washburn that the Celtics weren't tanking.

Or, shame on Ainge and the Celtics for piecing together a team that just isn't bad enough. Shame on the Eastern Conference for being so clumsy that tanks jobs have gone awry. 

Shame on Wiggins for customizing his own Celtics jersey, to go along with his Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz attire, this past July.

The Celtics aren't tanking. Jared Sullinger says so.

Whether their current state is by design or the result of Ainge neglecting to hit the "send" button after frantically typing a mass-text message, I'll let you decide.

 

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