WALTHAM, Mass. -- Boston Celtics big man Jared Sullinger doesn't need you to remind him that he's dealing with one of the worst slumps of his NBA career. No, he's very much aware. So much so that he put his cell phone on silent mode for the better part of the last week. It'll be easier to clear out all those missed calls and text messages when his shots start falling again.
"I shut my phone off," Sullinger said. "I don’t like talking. Honestly, the past four or five days, my phone has been completely off. Powered down. Don’t even check it. Don't do anything. It’s just who I’ve been."
Sullinger is in a three-game funk that culminated with him going scoreless during Friday's loss to the New York Knicks. Rather than a pep talk from his father and brothers, who are always more than eager to help diagnose what he's doing wrong, Sullinger sought the comfort of an empty gymnasium, returning to Boston's practice facility to get up shots after Friday's game.
"It happens a lot with me. Especially when [the team is] at home," Sullinger said. "I’ve been doing that since I was in high school. I'd have a bad game and I used to ask my dad if we could go to the gym, and I used to get some shots up. Get back to what works for me."
Sullinger acknowledged he's in a funk, but suggested it's more mental than physical. Asked if he's feeling off, Sullinger smiled and offered, "No, I'm not sick. I’m fine."
He joked about how those late-night gym sessions feel a bit like a "5-on-5 game with just yourself" and how he replayed all of his shots and missed opportunities. Sullinger appeared in good spirits despite his struggles, but admitted he had to find a way to contribute even when his shots don't fall.
"It’s tough, but at the same time, you just have to play through it all," he said. "It’s going to happen. You just have to bring something else to the table."
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