Sullinger losing weight, but how will it affect play?


BOSTON – There’s a lot less to like about Jared Sullinger these days, and that’s a good thing Celtics fans!

While no hard-and-fast numbers have been given as to how much weight Sullinger has lost this summer, there’s no mistaking the 6-foot-9 forward has dropped quite a few pounds.

The proof is in the recent photos he posted on Twitter which show “before and “after” images of Sullinger.

The Celtics have urged him to work on his weight and overall conditioning every summer since he has been in the NBA, only for Sullinger to report to training as big or even bigger than he was the previous season.

But this year things appear to be different.

No longer has Sullinger talked and talked about losing weight. He’s actually making it happen now.  

Of course Sullinger will still have his skeptics who believe the lost weight will only return, sooner or later. There will be others who will point to the fact that this is a contract year for Sullinger and that maybe more than anything else, is his motivation.

Regardless of the reason, there’s a lot less body for Sullinger to lug around these days.

Making such a transformation is mostly positive, but there are some legit concerns, too.

It remains to be seen how his lost weight will impact what truly matters – his play.

Sullinger averaged 13.3 points and 7.6 rebounds per game last season, the kind of numbers that rank him among the best players in his draft class. And he has done it playing overweight and because of that, his playing time to some degree has been limited.

To his credit, Sullinger has been able to make the most of his size both around the basket scoring as well as on the boards.

But with him not being nearly as massive as he has been in the past, there’s no way to tell if the lost weight also came accompanied with lost strength.

Fans and even his naysayers should be happy with the Sullinger we are seeing via social media these days.

He has never looked as healthy as he does right now. But good health alone doesn’t make you a good player.

Getting his body right was a good first step. But the next hurdle he has to overcome – being a consistent, dominating kind of player – will be even more difficult to achieve.

Boston added veterans Amir Johnson and David Lee to the frontcourt, with both likely to be in the starting lineup.

Sullinger of course will compete for a spot on the first unit, but he’s more likely to be fighting for time off the bench along with Kelly Olynyk, Tyler Zeller and Jonas Jerebko.

And he’ll be doing his work with less girth to toss around than ever.

But if he attacks training camp the way he has his weight issues this summer, his size won’t matter.

There will be a lot more love for Sullinger.

Contact Us