BOSTON For the past couple of weeks, Jared Sullinger has played like a starter for the Celtics. Today against the Heat, he will be a starter as Doc Rivers continues to search for answers as to what's the best way to turn the C's season around.
The 6-foot-9 rookie will be making his fourth start of the season for the Celtics who come into today's game against Miami riding a season-worst six game losing streak.
Rivers explained his reasoning behind the move before Sunday's game.
"More because Jared is playing well," said Rivers. "Honestly I don't love it because I worry about our bench."
That's because starting Sullinger takes away one of the C's most productive backup big men of late.
In his last five games, Sullinger has averaged 6.6 points and 8 rebounds off the bench.
But the biggest downside to starting Sullinger is that it likely means the C's will have stretches in which both Sullinger and Garnett are on the bench, which does not bode well for Boston's chances of holding their own on the glass during that spell.
Sullinger's ascension to being a starter should not come as a surprise, especially when you consider he's replacing Brandon Bass who has struggled most of this season.
Not only are Bass' individual numbers down across the board -- that includes minutes played which is a factor in the dip -- but also his impact on games when he does play.
The Celtics are minus-135 this season with Bass on the floor. The team's highest plusminus ratio? That would be Sullinger, at plus-42.