Your Morning Dump…Where the Sullinger-Olynyk combo is learning


Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

 “If they can defend and rebound together at the end of games, it’s great to have them in,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “They make so many basketball plays and you can run so much through them . . . They can do all kinds of things. I was pleased with the way those young guys played.”

Actually, the two have been a pretty good tandem for the Celtics when on the floor together this season. They have appeared together in 36 games having played a total of 292 minutes, or 8.1 minutes per game.

Despite not being on the floor for a ton of minutes together, the two have been fairly effective when in tandem, which is evident by the plus/minus ratio of 7.6 when the two have played together this season.

“Kelly’s a good player,” Sullinger told recently. “He can do so many things out there. The big thing for him is to just keep playing his game and keep trying to get better. He’s been doing a great job with that all season.”

CSNNE - Sullinger, Olynyk gel together to help Celtics

Yes, a good game against the Bucks should be taken with a grain of salt, but having your rookie/sophomore frontcourt combine for 27 points and 21 rebounds certainly isn’t a bad thing. Though we haven’t seen a whole lot of the Olynyk and Sullinger pairing, seeing the two work together on the offensive end seems promising. As Mike Gorman Jackie MacMullan mentioned during the game’s broadcast, Olynyk is a “face to the basket” type power forward. He’s comfortable outside of the paint, spotting up around the midrange/three-point line. Having a player like this helps clear space for Sullinger, who’s becoming more and more familiar talented scoring the paint. Earlier in the season we saw a lot of hanging around the three-point line from Sully, but not so much anymore. And though it was just the Bucks, their frontline really isn’t a joke. John Henson’s a lengthy defender and a good shot-blocker, plus playing against Zaza Pachulia is always good for learning how to sneak in some physicality.

Page 2: Brad Stevens visits former player with cancer

It appears Stevens made time amid his hectic NBA schedule to fly back to Zionsville to visit the Smith family. Stevens’ Celtics, 19-34 on the year and in fourth place in the Atlantic Division, won Monday night in Milwaukee and host the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night in Boston.

And it’s not the first time Stevens has gone out of his way for a former player. It was just this past summer when Stevens, three days after accepting the Celtics head coaching position, turned up in Connersville, Ind. to honor a promise he’d made to Matt Howard’s father.

Smith had began playing for the Eurocup team, the Neptunas, in September. Since returning to Indianapolis, Smith has started treatment to combat the cancer. His return to the Neptunas — or professional basketball at all, for that matter — remains uncertain until the treatment is complete.

ESPN Boston - Stevens visits former player with cancer

The Celtics have been on a roll in the good feels department lately. Monday, a story  broke of how Wyc Grousbeck and his wife, Corinne, are offering to fly over a young C’s fan from New Zealand to see a game before his vision deteriorated. Now our new coach Brad Stevens is taking the time to visit a former player recently diagnosed with cancer. In a season where the basketball itself isn’t great , the team is still finding ways to make their fans proud.

And finally, MarShon Brooks is back in the D-Leauge

The Golden State Warriors assigned guards Kent Bazemore and MarShon Brooks and center Ognjen Kuzmic to the Santa Cruz Warriors of the NBA Development League, the team announced on Tuesday. All three players will suit up for tonight’s game against the Idaho Stampede at the Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz (7:00 p.m.).

CSNNE Bay Area - Warriors assign three to D-Leauge

Not really Celtics-related news anymore, but for anyone who’s still interested in the progress of MarShon Brooks, he’s back in the D-League. I know he was pretty quiet during his time in Boston (both on and off the court), but I hope he can still produce in the NBA. Seems like a good dude.

Oh, and happy 80th birthday to Bill Russell!

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston - Treading carefully at trade deadline | Green finds range vs. Bucks

Boston Herald - Bayless making a point with C’s | Michael Jordan’s wife gives birth to twin daughters

CSNNE - Sullinger adapting to more attention down low | Sixers sink in the West