WALTHAM -- Fresh off their trip to Europe, the Celtics returned to the practice court on Wednesday and when the curtain was raised, rookie Jared Sullinger was on the court with the other starters. Sullinger also started the C's final exhibition game in Milan and played well, scoring 25 points to go with 15 rebounds in the two games.
Coach Doc Rivers said he hasn't made any decisions about starters yet, but he suggested that he could use several different lineups depending on the matchup. In addition to Sullinger or Brandon Bass starting at the 4, Rivers said he could use Darko Milicic at center and slide Kevin Garnett back to his familiar turf.
"We can slide Kevin over to the four to start games. The first half of the year I don’t know if that’s a bad thing, so Kevin doesn't have a wrestling match the entire season with the bigs," Rivers said. "There’s a lot of thoughts. We may go to a transitional starting lineup, have three different starting lineups. We’ve put a lot of thought into it, we’ll just figure it out."
Rivers said he is most concerned with the second unit and that increased flexibility could pay dividends for a reserve unit that struggled mightily last season.
"I’m not worried about or starting lineup," Rivers said. "I’m far more worried about our second lineup. That’s the lineup that we’re going to keep moving guys around. I’ve said it before, if you can take a starter and put him on the second unit that’s good for the second unit. I don’t know if we’ll do that, but we may."
As for Sullinger, he drew praise from Rivers, Garnett and Rajon Rondo for his intelligent play on the court.
"He’s probably the smartest rookie we’ve had since I’ve been here," Rondo said. "He’s very intelligent. High basketball IQ and he’s very unselfish. He doesn’t need a play called for him. He’s been getting his points off the dirty work."
For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.
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