The Boston Celtics are off to a 4-5 start, which is better than what most expected of the rebuilding squad. Here’s ESPN Boston on a Celtic that’s playing well so far this season.

Jared Sullinger

Hey, Jared, how’s your back?

“I thought people forgot about my surgery; hardly anybody ever talks about it anymore,” replied Boston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger, who underwent season-ending lumbar disk surgery back in February and worked hard to get back on the court for the start of his sophomore campaign.

The reason his surgery has become a mere footnote is because Sullinger is playing so effectively. The 6-foot-9 forward is averaging 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds over 19.7 minutes per game in seven appearances.

Even as he works to ramp up his conditioning after a surgery that left him inactive for much of the summer, Sullinger has surprised even himself with how well he’s started the year…

According to Synergy Sports data, Sullinger leads the team in post-up chances and production. Over 26 plays in post-up situations, he has averaged 1.077 points per play (that ranks him in the 83rd percentile among all league players). For comparison’s sake, Brandon Bass has 24 post-up plays (second highest on the team), but that’s in nearly twice as many minutes of playing time as Sullinger (Bass is averaging 1 point per play, ranking in the 78th percentile).

Sullinger is trying to give the Celtics a little bit of everything. He has extended his range beyond the 3-point arc with a green light from Stevens to fire away. He’s only 2-for-10 thus far from downtown, having air-balled a shot or two, but he won’t shy away from an open look. His total rebound percentage (15) is below last season’s mark (17.5) but that should rise with more minutes and better conditioning.