Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images
When he was drafted by Boston two years ago, a popular knock on Jared Sullinger's game was that he'd always struggle to get a shot off around the rim.
The thinking went that he was too short and too grounded to have a positive impact in the paint. All his shots—or at least a vast majority of them—would get smacked back into his face by taller, more athletic defenders.
During his rookie season all those concerns materialized into truths. Sullinger had 1.7 shots blocked per 48 minutes, which is a massive number considering he attempted only 12.1 shots in that frame.
This year he's getting 1.4 of his shots blocked per 48 minutes, and attempting 8.9 more shots. The improvement is insane. He's already learned to use his wide body as a weapon, slamming it into opponents and taking away their leverage as shot-blockers.
According to mySynergySports, Sullinger is the 13th most efficient scorer in the league after grabbing an offensive rebound and looking to score.
Sullinger's improved other areas of his game this season, but they're covered in other slides. This particular aspect—not getting his shot blocked—is unique because of how quickly the 21-year-old took to turning it around.
What was once a weakness is now teetering on becoming a strength, and that's exactly what teams look for when evaluating their young talent.