Thursday, October 2, 2014

Celtics Impressed With Zeller

It's been a very busy 48 hours of training camp thus far for the Boston Celtics. Besides the auditioning for a starting point guard in the absence of Rajon Rondo. Brad Stevens has also been working very closely with his centers including newcomer Tyler Zeller.

The 7-footer arrived here in July as part of a three-team-trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers. In the short time he has been in Boston, Zeller is starting to already make a name for himself with his new teammates and coaches. Though he's only officially participated in a few practices and scrimmages, Stevens likes what he sees.

"Probably the thing I've seen, maybe the biggest surprise about Tyler Zeller has been the way he passes the ball," said the Celtics coach. []

While Zeller will be competing for a starting role with Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk, who are both also known for racking up assists, Stevens has to love the fact that he has big-men on his roster that love to spread the wealth.

"I'm excited about our bigs being able to pass the ball as much as anything else," Stevens explained. "We've talked about if they can stretch it, it's better for us shooting it. But them being able to pass is important too." []

One thing that Zeller has been known for in his first two-years in Cleveland (7-points, 6-rebounds per game) is the fact that he runs the floor pretty well for a big. His efforts and ability to rebound have also been noticed especially by those running the point the last two days.

"Tyler, he bangs down low. He gets up and down the floor faster than some of the guards do," said Marcus Smart. "That's always good that your big can get down the floor that fast." []

Evan Turner, who also has been looking to share point guard duties, had high praise for the third-year big man as well.

"The coolest thing about Zeller is he runs the floor really well," said the Celtics swingman. "He's one of the big men on the team who does unique things and also gives the other team matchup problems." []

Despite Zeller getting off to a great start in camp he remains optimistic that nothing is written in stone as of yet. His skill sets are similar to those of his center counterparts Sullinger and Olynyk, and all three will very much be put to the test throughout the month of October. Though Zeller is not a three-point threat like Sully and  KO, he's very much aware of what he is capable of, especially when giving the opportunity.

"You have to continue to work, "Zeller said. "If you're not going to play or think you're not going to play, make sure you get your work in before the game and continue to work on your game and get better so that when you do get that opportunity you're as ready as possible." []

Joel Pavón 

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