After trading Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets, and losing coach Doc Rivers to the Clippers, the Celtics were supposed to stink.
They still might — although they’ve been OK so far (7-12 heading into Tuesday’s game vs. the Bucks).
Either way, second-year Celtics forward Jared Sullinger is not about to lose on purpose. In the NBA, this is what fans and media refer to as “tanking.” But players and coaches aren’t into it all, and Sullinger has made that perfectly clear.
“I don’t know why people keep talking about tanking,” said the former Ohio State star. “We have competitors out here. We’re really not like that.”
The 2014 draft class is among the most highly anticipated in a decade with names like Kansas forward Andrew Wiggins, Duke forward Jabari Parker and Kentucky big man Julius Randle.
Any team could certainly use any of those guys, the Celtics among them.
But for now, Sullinger and the Celtics are content aiming for the playoffs.
“We just want to win and show everybody that y’all can kiss our butts about the tanking stuff,” he said.
Sullinger is starting at power forward for first-year coach Brad Stevens and averaging 13.3 points and 7.4 rebounds. He is coming off a 21-point, 14-rebound performance vs. the Bucks.