Greg M. Cooper/US Presswire
Jared Sullinger proved he knows a thing or two about rebounding from adversity.The Brooklyn Nets had already hauled in 14 offensive rebounds against the Boston Celtics over the first 19 minutes of Thursday's game in Brooklyn when Boston rookie Jared Sullinger got caught out of position. He hedged too high on a pick-and-roll and was scrambling to get back to his man, who had set up shop under the glass.
Fearful of giving up another offensive board, Sullinger pushed Kris Humphries from behind, drawing a whistle that gave the Nets the ball back without even having to fight for the rebound.
Celtics coach Doc Rivers had seen enough. Sullinger, a rookie whose calling card is cleaning the glass, didn't just get the hook, he spent the rest of the night on the bench.
"I just told all the guys: If you get an offensive rebound on you, you're coming out and [Sullinger] was the first," explained Rivers.
It was a little bit of a tough love for a young player. Rivers wanted Boston's top pick in this year's draft to learn a lesson that game, but was also interested to see how he'd respond.
Sullinger bounced back Saturday by posting his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds over 26:23 in a 107-89 thumping of the Toronto Raptors. He followed it up on Sunday by being maybe the Celtics' best player on the floor -- at least in the fourth quarter -- when he scored a team-high 16 points in a 103-83 loss to the Detroit Pistons.
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