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Jared Sullinger diary: Celtics' progress, facing LeBron & Love, wearing No. 7

SullingerBoston Celtics forward Jared Sullinger is keeping a Celtics diary this season. In his second entry, he discusses what he's learned about this team so far this season, what the C's need to work on, what he expected from LeBron James when the Cavs came to town, and how he came to wear No. 7. (As told to Louise K. Cornetta)

We are happy Rajon Rondo is able to be back playing with us because playing with him is a lot of fun. He's a competitor first and foremost. It seems to me like he's always on a roll. He's always looking to share the ball. He's one of the few pass-first point guards in this league. He's been playing great.

We get Rondo back but lose Marcus Smart, who rolled his ankle in our game against the Raptors. I was on the court when it happened. I think I got the rebound and passed it out or something. I do remember I was on the far end of the court. All of a sudden I saw him take two steps and fall. We ran over there to try to see what happened. It looked like he was grabbing his left leg, but really he was grabbing at his ankle. We were all nervous but happy when we saw him give the thumbs-up sign. It was a tough situation.

I've been down that road when I got hurt my rookie season and had to miss games. I've let him know that this is an 82-game season. If you feel only 60 percent, even 70 or 80 percent, then don't go. It's a long season and you don't know how your ankle is going to react after one game. If it's 100 percent, then play. Hopefully everything works out just fine.

I think the team has been playing well to start the season. We just have to play a whole 48-minute game. In the short stint we've had so far this season, what I've learned is we have some fighters. We've had some games where we've come out sluggish, but we kept fighting. We're going to keep playing and will play hard. This team is a bunch of competitors.

It's very important for everyone to continue to buy into Coach [Brad] Stevens' system. It's slowly increasing as we get more aggressive. We all love the aggressive Coach Stevens. What he wants us to most work on is to be a great defensive team. He wants to see our defense turn into offense. Our offense has been good to start the season and I think that's because of Coach Stevens' coaching style. It's more about his spacing of having us play in a wider space. The confidence he has in everybody is really strong. How I fit into his coaching style is I'm a big man who can shoot. I can rebound, push the tempo, and play hard all at once.

We played the Cavs on Friday and that meant LeBron [James] came to town. Preparing for him is also about preparing for the circus that comes with him. It's not only about playing him, but also about the company that he brings. We know there will be extra cameras and extra media. It's got to be a little overwhelming for the young guys. But at the same time, you just have to hone into why we're here and why we're doing this.

I matched up against Kevin Love in that game. I prepped for that by watching a lot of film. You have to understand that when he's one of their primary options, you can't take away everything, but you try to take away some things. What I have to do is take away some of the things that he likes to go to, but I'm not going to be able to take away everything. I knew I was not going to be able to hold him scoreless.

Since we're talking about preparing for a game, you might wonder if I have some kind of pregame routine. I really don't. I just kind of go with the flow. I think that is one thing that is different about me that some veteran players would say. I don't do the same thing over and over again. I'm not very superstitious. The only thing I'm superstitious about is which route I take to the gym. If I'm driving or my dad or cousin is driving me, we take the same route.

What else can I tell you about me? Well, I wear the No. 7 for my mom because her birthday is in July, the seventh month. Previously I had worn 34 in high school, but I couldn't here because that was Paul Pierce's number. The reason I wore that number in high school was because my brother Julian, who is a Division II coach at Tiffin University right now, used to wear it. Zero was taken by Avery Bradley. I wore 0 in college and that was because my oldest brother, James, wore 0 in college at The Ohio State University. So I've never really had to pick a number until now. Since I never had a number that was based off my mom, I decided to pick 7.

Speaking of family, a holiday I always enjoyed with my family has been Thanksgiving. For me, it's the No. 1 holiday on the holiday scale. It's that happy spirit that comes out of people. But this will be the first Thanksgiving without my grandmother. It will be a special one because she always brought such a loving spirit to our Thanksgivings. I just know she'll still be with us on Thanksgiving, even though she can no longer actually be there. I'm sure I'll have family visit, but I'll be OK if my dad stays home in Ohio. He's been with me the past two weeks. I'm tired of seeing him. So he can stay where he's at. Just kidding, Dad!

Holidays are different when you have games around those dates because you can't always spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with your whole family. I don't get to see all my nieces, nephews, brothers and friends. At the same time, I understand it's a part of this profession. It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get here. I understand that a small sacrifice is missing some holidays with the family. Hopefully we can mix it up and they can come to Boston.

Being in Boston has made me a fan of the other teams in town. You get to see them a lot. I watch hockey a little bit now with the Bruins. The Red Sox were a lot of fun to watch, especially in 2013. This town made me become a baseball fan. I actually watch baseball now when I never did before.

With the Patriots, I have a good friend on the team in Jonas Gray. I've known him for quite some time now. He's the starting running back on the Patriots. We were already close before we both started playing for teams here. With us both living in the same city now, we're even closer.

I do love football and am really into Fantasy Football. My fantasy football name is Team Sully. I actually have two teams. One is not too good. I'm 4-6. The other, though, I am 8-2. The one I am doing well in I'm in with my aunt and cousin and a couple of other friends at home. My quarterback on that team is Tony Romo. My running backs are Lamar Miller, Alfred Morris and DeMarco Murray. For wide receivers I have Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. I have a pretty good team.

Last thing I have is I got to be involved with our Sr. Celtics program, which encourages people to exercise and be active no matter what their age. I just want to help in bettering the health of the community I live in. I wanted to let them know that there are things you can do at home, that you don't always have to go to the gym. I like being involved in community events like this because with the neighborhood I grew up in, we didn't get to see things like this. I thought the day I spent with some Sr. Celtics was really, really beautiful.