Shapiro: Boston Celtics Draft Preview

Would Royce White be the right piece for the Boston Celtics? (Photo Credit: IrishCentral.com)

By Lucas Shapiro 

Curious to see whom the Boston Celtics will pick tonight?

Aren’t we all?

How Boston picks tonight will be the first indication of what direction the Celtics will go in the potentially post Big Three era.

Here are ten guys that could be wearing a Celtics jersey at the end of the night:

Royce White, (Sophomore | Iowa State | 6’8″ Forward): Although Danny Ainge recently denied it, rumors have been swirling around the NBA that the Celtics had promised White they would draft him as the 21st pick. And for those not too familiar with White, Jonathan Abrams of Grantland.com wrote an excellent piece yesterday portraying the 6’8″, 270-pound forward. He is arguably the most unique NBA draft prospect in years. His hero is John Lennon. He plays exactly like LeBron James. He has a fear of flying. Yet, what makes White so special is how he has overcome adversity to be where he is today. White did not play one minute at the University of Minnesota under Tubby Smith due to the fact he was arrested multiple times, (he also stole a computer). He ended up transferring to Iowa State where he learned the value of being honest and working hard. The product ended up carrying Iowa State to the second round of the NCAA tournament. White is a physical freak with a high skill level. He played point-forward for Iowa State, despite having the body of a power forward. He’d be an immediate impact for the Celtics because they might be losing Jeff Green and Brandon Bass this summer. They also do not have another ball-handler aside from Rajon Rondo, so White could be that guy for spurts of time. The Celtics will need to figure out how to help White with his anxiety issues and fear of flying, but there is a good chance that White could be an impact player for the Celtics right away.

Jared Sullinger, (Sophomore | Ohio State | 6’9″ Power Forward): Let’s get this straight: Jared Sullinger came back to Ohio State, improved his outside shot, improved his free-throw shooting, improved his shot-blocking, lost weight, and carried his team to the Final Four. Yet, for some miraculous reason he is a possibility for the Celtics in the 20’s, (Boston has picks 21 and 22). This is a guy, who was projected to be a Top-5 pick at the beginning of the year, has been knocked down due to bulging discs in his back. A few years ago, former Kansas forward Darrell Arthur fell in the draft due to concerns about his kidney. Yet, in his three years in the NBA, he has averaged 62 games played in per year, so the fact of the matter is that if Sullinger falls to the Celtics, he will be an absolute steal.

Fabricio de Melo, (Sophomore | Syracuse | 7’0″ Center): The Celtics desperately need size and it is unlikely that either Meyers Leonard or Tyler Zeller falls to them. Melo would be the next best 7-footer available. There are a lot of red flags surrounding Melo. He does not have good hands. He is very raw. He is not very intelligent. But one promising sign about Melo is that he improved drastically during two seasons with the Syracuse Orange. When he first walked onto the Syracuse campus, he could barely contribute. He would get lost in defensive rotations and had a hard time getting up and down the floor. So, he lost a great deal of weight before his sophomore year and looked like a completely different player. He made a major impact on the defensive end. It was apparent after he was ineligible for the NCAA tournament that Melo may have been Syracuse’s most important player this past season. He would be a long-term project for the Celtics, but he could fit in, even if he ends up being a guy that grabs a few rebounds, blocks a few shots, and gives a few fouls, which would pay big dividends for Boston.

Andrew Nicholson, (Senior | St. Bonaventure | 6’9″ Power Forward): Nicholson is relatively unknown to the casual basketball fan. He is a big man with a vast set of post moves, as well as deep range on his jump shot. The big problem with Nicholson is that he is 22-years-old, and still had a body that isn’t ready for the NBA. He was a decent post defender in college, but he only allowed 0.77 points per possession in post-up opportunities, which ranked in the 56th percentile in college basketball. At 6’9″ and 220 pound, Nicholson will need to bulk up if he wants to contribute on both ends of the floor in the NBA. He is not an upside pick, but Nicholson could boost the second unit’s scoring.

Moe Harkless, (Freshman | St. John’s | 6’8″ Forward): Harkless is a small forward with a power forward’s game. He has a great deal of potential and could be a sleeper pick for down the road. Think about how great of a pick-up James Posey was for the Celtics a few years back. Harkless could be a similar type of player. He needs to add some polish to his game, but the upside is there.

John Jenkins, (Junior | Vanderbilt | 6’4″ Shooting Guard): If Ray Allen does not return, the Celtics are desperately going to need some outside shooting. Jenkins is arguably the best catch-and-shoot player in the draft. Boston would be an excellent fit for Jenkins because he would not be asked to do anything else. He has some holes in his game, (lack of quickness), but he would always be paired with two of the best defensive guards in the league.

Should the Celtics trade up for Austin Rivers? (Photo Credit: CollegiateStandard.com)

Perry Jones, (Sophomore | Baylor | 6’11” Forward): It is unlikely that Jones will fall this far, but it is not out of the question. If he does land on the Celtics, Kevin Garnett might be the one player in the league that can teach him to play hard. In terms of talent alone, Jones is a Top-3 player in the draft.

Arnett Moultrie, (Junior | Mississippi State | 6’11” Power Forward/Center): The Celtics were the worst rebounding team in the NBA last year. Moultrie is a bit of an enigma in terms of upside, but he certainly can rebound. Would he be an upgrade over Greg Stiemsma? Probably not, but the Celtics are desperate for size.

Draymond Green, (Senior | Michigan State | 6’7″ Power Forward): Green does not have much upside, but the Celtics would know what they are getting. Green is a utility player. He could be like a combination of Marquis Daniels and Leon Powe for the Celtics. When they need rebounds, Green could grab them. When they need toughness, Green can bring the toughness. He would be a great complimentary player to a team that has enough stars already.

Austin Rivers, (Freshman | Duke | 6’4″ Shooting Guard): This is the pick that people do not like on the outside, but secretly want to see on the inside. Everyone wants to see Austin Rivers play for his father. Doc might be the only coach that could connect with him. Who knows what would happen if Austin Rivers is selected by Boston, but according to various rumors on Thursday, the Celtics will attempt to trade up for him. One thing is for sure: Rivers to Boston would make for an amazing HBO “Hard Knocks” series.

Daily Noontime – May 22, 2012

Brandon Bass recorded 18 of 27 points in the third quarter on Monday, which helped Boston defeat Philadelphia in Game No. 5! (Photo Credit: Sporting News)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Tuesday to everyone, and welcome into yet another edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kickstart the day with some news, headlines and more news from the city of Boston.

* Paced by Brandon Bass, who deposited 27 points, Boston defeated Philadelphia, 101-85 on Monday in Game No. 5 of the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Boston now leads the series, 3-2, and will attempt to conclude the series on Wednesday when both squads return to the hardwood in Philadelphia for an 8PM match.

* Excluding Bass, Kevin Garnett poured in 20 points, Rajon Rondo added 13 points and dished out 14 assists, and Paul Pierce finished the contest with 16 points and four defensive rebounds.

* According to the NBA stat crew, Bass netted 18 of his 27 points in the third quarter, which is the highest point total during this particular NBA postseason in one quarter. LeBron James tallied 17 points against the New York Knicks in his team’s first round series, but that particular statistic has officially been erased.

* Trailing Baltimore late in the game, Boston’s bats sparked a three-run rally — two in the seventh, one in the eighth — to earn an 8-6 victory against the first place Orioles on Monday. David Ortiz hit his 10th home run of the season, while Mike Aviles recorded his 28th RBI in the win.

* The Sox have now won four of their last five contests, and will look to earn their 22nd win of the season on Tuesday when Felix Doubront pitches against Brian Matusz at 7:05PM.

Daily Noontime – May 15, 2012

Jrue Holiday paced the 76ers with 18 points on Monday, which helped Philadelphia even their semi-final series with Boston! (Photo Credit: PHLsportsfan.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Tuesday, which means this particular week is slowly motoring along! Here are some headlines and news to kickstart your day!

* Four players recorded 10 points or more for Philadelphia on Monday, as the 76ers defended a late rally by Boston to tie their Eastern Conference semi-finals series, 1-1, (Philly defeated Boston, 82-81 in Game No. 2).

Jrue Holiday paced the 76ers with 18 points, while Andre Iguodala recorded 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the win. As for the Celtics, Ray Allen came off the bench and netted 17 points, Kevin Garnett added 15 points, and Brandon Bass registered 12 points.

* Boston and Philadelphia will resume their series on Wednesday in the “City of Brotherly Love” — Tip is scheduled for 7:00PM at the Wells Fargo Center.

* The Boston Red Sox earned their fourth consecutive win, as they defeated the Seattle Mariners, 6-1. Jon Lester tossed a complete game, and allowed eight hits, one earned run, and fanned six batters. Daniel Nava and Kelly Shoppach each cranked one home run, while David Ortiz recored his 26th RBI of the season.

* Boston and Seattle will conclude their two-game series on Tuesday – Josh Beckett opposes Blake Beavan — first pitch is scheduled for 4:05PM.

Daily Noontime – April 19, 2012

Paul Pierce paced the Green and White with 29 points and 14 assists, as Boston defeated Orlando on Wednesday, 102-98! (Photo Credit: New York Daily News)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s supposed to be another great day, and while we anxiously await for the warm weather to arrive, let’s kick-start the day with some headlines and news from the Hub!

* The Boston Celtics won their 30th division crown on Wednesday, as they defeated the Orlando Magic, 102-98. Paul Pierce led all scorers with 29 points, while Brandon Bass added 21 points and Avery Bradley recorded 23 points. Pierce also recorded a career-high in assists, as he finished the contest with 14 dimes.

* Boston currently remains three and a half games ahead New York in the Atlantic Division, and fourth in the Eastern Conference. The Celtics will attempt to earn their 38th win of the season on Friday when they travel to Atlanta to face the Hawks.

* The Boston Bruins will attempt to earn their third win against Washington on Thursday, as Game No. 4 of this particular Eastern Conference quarterfinals is slated to begin at 7:30pm.

* Washington’s head coach Dale Hunter accused Boston on Tuesday for being “head hunters,” but Bruins head coach Claude Julien responded by saying, “we just gotta focus on what we have to do to win a series, and win a game.”

* The Boston Red Sox up and down home stand continued on Wednesday, as the Texas Rangers concluded their two-game series with a 6-3 win. The Sox earned a 2-0 lead in the bottom half of the second inning, but couldn’t preserve it, as the Rangers managed to earn the lead for good in the fourth inning with a Mike Napoli two-run shot.

* Against the Rangers on Wednesday, Josh Beckett pitched seven innings and surrendered seven hits, three runs, and one home run, while Derek Holland earned his second win of the season — he yielded two earned runs over seven innings.

* The Red Sox will return to the diamond on Friday when they host the New York Yankees.

Daily Noontime – April 16, 2012

David Ortiz recorded his second double and his 10th RBI of the season on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays! (Photo Credit: USA Today)

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Patriots Day! It’s going to be a scorcher, but before we melt away, let’s kick-start the day with news and headlines!

* The Boston Red Sox earned their third consecutive win on Sunday, as they defeated the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-4. David Ortiz recorded a double, and his 10th RBI, while Cody Ross smacked his second home run of the season. Also, Mike Aviles went 1-for-4 with a home run and RBI.

* Boston and Tampa Bay will conclude their four-game series on Monday at 11AM — Daniel Bard opposes James Shields.

* On Sunday evening, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine told WHDH-TV’s SportsXTra that he doesn’t think Kevin Youkilis is “physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”

* The Boston Celtics concluded the weekend with a 2-1 record, as they defeated the Charlotte Bobcats, 94-82. Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass both registered 22 points, while Rajon Rondo tallied 20 points and 16 assists. The Green and White will conclude their road trip on Tuesday when they travel to New York to face the Knicks.

* Finally, the Boston Bruins will attempt to earn their second win against the Washington Capitals on Monday, as both teams return to the ice for Game No. 3 of this best of seven series. Washington won Game No. 2 on Saturday, 2-1 in double OT, while Boston captured the first contest, 1-0 in overtime.

Daily Noontime – April 12, 2012

Once again, Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double, as Boston defeated Atlanta on Wednesday, 88-86 in OT! (Photo Credit: Yahoo! Sports)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy Thursday to everyone, and welcome into another grand edition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s jumpstart the day with headlines and news from the Hub.

* The Boston Celtics won an overtime thriller on Wednesday, as they defeated the Atlanta Hawks, 88-86. Kevin Garnett paced the Green and White with 22 points, while Rajon Rondo recorded a triple-double, (10 points, 10 rebounds, and 20 assists). Boston has now won four consecutive contests, and will return to the hardwood on Friday when they travel to Toronto.

* Against the Hawks, Brandon Bass sustained an somewhat serious injury while chasing a rebound in overtime, but didn’t leave the court. After the contest concluded, he told reporters that he apparently hyperextended his left knee.

* The Boston Bruins will begin their quest toward their seventh Stanley Cup championship on Thursday when they host the Washington Capitals at 7:30pm.

* Reports confirmed on Wednesday that Nathan Horton will miss the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs due to recurring post-concussion symptoms. Horton had attempted to skate with his team a few weeks ago, but didn’t record any playing time since sustaining his injury earlier this season.

* Finally, the Boston Red Sox recorded their fifth loss of the season on Wednesday, as Toronto defeated the local nine, 3-1.     

Daily Noontime – April 9, 2012

Kevin Garnett paced the Celtics on Sunday with 20 points! (Photo Credit: DocSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Monday, which means we’re kicking-off a brand new week. Let’s jumpstart the day with some headlines and news pertaining toward the Boston sports scene!

* The Boston Celtics routed the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, 103-79. Kevin Garnett led all scorers with 20 points, while Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass each tallied 18 points. Following the victory, Boston earned a three-game cushion in the Atlantic Division, and will attempt to earn their 33rd victory of the season on Tuesday when they travel to Miami to face the Heat.

* According to sources – Mickael Pietrus continues to nurse a head injury, which he sustained a few weeks ago in Philadelphia, and is hopeful that he’ll be able to return soon. When asked about his timetable, he responded by saying, “A couple of weeks, maybe? I’m hoping so.” Without Pietrus in the lineup, Boston has won seven of nine contests.

* For the third consecutive contest, Boston’s bullpen imploded, and Detroit’s offense exploded, as the Tigers defeated the Red Sox, 13-12 in 11 innings. Alex Avila hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning, which clinched the victory for the Motown local nine.

* The Red Sox will attempt to earn their first win of the 2012 season on Monday when they travel to Toronto to face the Blue Jays. Felix Doubront will get the start for Boston, and be opposed by Henderson Alvarez at 7:07pm.

* Finally, the Boston Bruins will begin their quest toward a seventh Stanley Cup trophy on Thursday when they host the Washington Capitals at 7:30pm.

Daily Noontime – March 15, 2012

Kevin Garnett's late fourth quarter heroics lifted Boston past Golden State! (Photo Credit: Comcast Sports/Bay Area)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Good Thursday to everyone, and welcome into yet another amazing rendition of the Daily Noontime! Let’s kick-start the day with some news from the city of champions!

* Kevin Garnett’s 20-foot jumper with six seconds remaining in the fourth quarter provided the Boston Celtics with a 105-103 win on Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors. Garnett paced the Green and White with 24 points, while Brandon Bass added 22 points. Boston is now 2-1 on their current eight-game swing, and will return to the court on Friday when they tip-off against the Sacramento Kings.

* Sources confirmed on Wednesday evening that Celtics forward/center Chris Wilcox will undergo aortic surgery on Mar. 29, and miss the remainder of the season.

* Sources have confirmed that the Celtics are possibly considering trading Paul Pierce to the Portland Trailblazers. The NBA trade deadline is set to conclude at 3PM on Thursday, and it’s likely that president of operations Danny Ainge will pull the trigger.

* The Boston Bruins will look to snap their three-game skid on Thursday evening when they face-off against the Panthers in Florida. The Panthers enter the contest having won two of their last three matchups against Carolina and Toronto.

* Harvard University’s men’s basketball team will begin their quest toward NCAA glory on Thursday when they tip-off against Vanderbilt University. Also, UMass will play its second round NIT game against Seton Hall on Saturday, Mar. 17, at 11AM.

* Finally, the New England Patriots acquired former Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Jonathan Fanene on Wednesday, as well as inked his name to a three-year, $12 million deal. Fanene has spent the past seven season with the Bengals, as well as ended this pasts season with 24 tackles, 17 solo tackles and 6.5 sacks.

Daily Noontime for February 1, 2012

Dennis Seidenberg scored the go-ahead goal on Tuesday, which helped the Bruins defeat the Senators, 4-3! (Photo Credit: Boston Herald)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Happy “Hump Day” to everyone, as well as happy February, too! Let’s jumpstart the month with some headlines and news that rock!

* The Boston Bruins kicked-off the second half of their schedule with a win against Ottawa, 4-3 at the TD Garden. Dennis Seidenberg notched the go-ahead goal at 7:09 in the third period, which secured the Black and Gold’s 32nd win of the season. Tim Thomas turned away 30 of 33 shots between the pipes, too. The Bruins will return to the ice on Thursday when they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

* Despite allowing Cleveland to register 32 points in the fourth frame, the Boston Celtics defeated the Cavaliers in Ohio, 93-90. Paul Pierce led the squad with 20 points, while Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass each tallied 13 points. The Green and White will return to the hardwood on Wednesday when they host the Toronto Raptors for a 7:30pm tip-off.

* Daisuke Matsuzaka threw a bullpen session on Tuesday for the first time since he had season-ending elbow surgery last June. The Boston Red Sox pitcher is expected to continue throwing on Wednesday, and then do another bullpen session on Friday. Also, he’s expected to join the club this season.

* The New England Patriots are expected to return to the gridiron on Wednesday after taking a day off for “Media Day” on Tuesday. Although, one of the biggest questions is will Rob Gronkowski join his team on the practice field? We’ll find out!

Daily Noontime – January 24, 2012

Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass each tallied 19 points, as Boston defeated Orlando on Monday! (Photo Credit: Boston Globe)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Good Tuesday morning to everyone, and welcome into yet another grand edition of the Daily Noontime! Here are some headlines, news and more to jumpstart your day, enjoy!

* The Boston Celtics routed the Orlando Magic on Monday, 87-56. The Green and White have now won seven games this season, and are 5-5 at the TD Garden. Paul Pierce and Brandon Bass led the team with 19 points, whileKevin Garnett tallied 14 points and 10 rebounds. Dwight Howard led the Magic with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Boston will return to the hardwood on Thursday when they travel to Orlando for an 8:00pm tip-off.

* The Boston Bruins sported their “Sunday best” on Monday when they were welcomed to the White House to celebrate their most recent Stanley Cup Championship with President Obama. However, Tim Thomas did not accompany his team, and noted on his Facebook page that he decided to exercise his rights as a free citizen. The Black and Gold will be on the ice Tuesday evening when they face the Capitals in Washington D.C.

* New England was named the home team for Super Bowl XLVI, and will most likely elect to wear their blue uniforms against the New York Giants.

* Patriots’ owner Bob Kraft told reporters that he hasn’t watched any highlights from Super Bowl XLII. Kraft complimented the Giants effort, as well as their management, coaches and players, too. The Giants defeated the Patriots earlier this season, but none of the New England players consider this particular matchup “revenge” from their Super Bowl loss in 2008.