Celtic Green

It’s early, but many believe that Danny Ainge once again struck gold on draft night for the Boston Celtics. Good news, because it overshadowed an ugly defeat for the Red Sox. Coverage of both, as well as a few other miscellaneous items makes up today’s links.

Draft analysis is always an inexact science, and cannot really be done until a couple years after the draft. However, initial reaction to the Celtics picks from last night’s NBA draft has been extremely favorable. With their first pick, they selected 6-8 high school forward Gerald Green, who had been projected to go much higher. In fact in a profile on Green by Peter May in Monday’s Globe, the writer said the following of Green:

He could go as high as No. 3 -- the Lakers, who own pick No. 10, lust after him and are trying to trade up -- and should fall no lower than eighth under even the most bizarre draft night scenarios.

Welcome to bizarro world, as Green was there for the picking at #18. No Peter, you can’t take credit in the future for saying the Celtics would pick him. Shira Springer has a look at the selection of Green, noting that he must not have slid too much in the eyes of other teams, as Danny Ainge was deluged with calls just before he made the pick by teams looking to trade in. Steve Bulpett says that the addition of Green allows the Celtics even more flexibility with their roster. Carolyn Thornton writes that Green is the type of “player with the kind of athletic tools that with the proper guidance will pay bigger dividends down the road.” Jeff Goldberg notes that Green was born during halftime of the Patriots/Bears Super Bowl XX. With all the youth around the team, in that article Doc Rivers jokes that the Celtics could be in the hunt for the NCAA Championship. Lenny Megliola had a person who follows prep basketball for a living tell him this was a “Ridiculous pick” by the Celtics…and that’s a good thing. (One nitpick in the article…the Celtics did not draft three high school players in last year’s draft as the article states.) Christopher Price has Green surprised that he ended up with the Celtics.

Mark Murphy has Doc Rivers finding it hard not to acknowledge the comparisons to Tracy McGrady in Green. Jackie MacMullan notes how young this team will be and the need to find the correct veteran leadership. She says you’ve got to love this pick, even though she is “mildly concerned” that Green’s nickname is “G-Money”. Relax Jackie, it’s actually a rather common nickname. Howard Bryant, (subscription only) says that the drafting of Green just puts the onus even more on Paul Pierce to mature and be a leader. Peter May looks at the odd sequence of events in the draft that led to Green being available for the Celtics. In many ways you have Portland and Toronto to thank for the slide of Green. Bill Reynolds looks at how looking for “upside” has really changed the NBA draft process.

The Celtics second round was very received as well. Projected by some to be a first round selection, (some Providence media types hoped he’d go at # 18 to the Celtics) Ryan Gomes of Providence College was selected at #50. Kevin McNamara has Danny Ainge saying that Gomes being available at #50 was a bigger surprise than Green at 18. He believes Gomes has the talent to become an NBA starter. Mark Murphy agrees that Gomes is a steal at 50, and Ken Davis and Jeff Goldberg agree with that assessment as well. Kelsie Smith has a look at the Celtics’ second second-round pick, point guard Orien Greene, who has also been expected to go higher by some. Greene was plagued by injuries for part of his college career, which many felt held him back. Greene is 6-4 and a deft ball handler and good defender. The Herald notebook has Kendrick Perkins and Al Jefferson talking about their experiences as high school players coming into the NBA. Springer’s notebook has a few more updates on the Celtics youngsters.

Be sure to check out Scott’s Shots for observations on the draft coverage by ESPN and FSN.

The elation over the Celtics draft was a good thing, as it overshadowed an ugly loss by the Red Sox. Blowing an 8-5 lead, and with Keith Foulke giving up 5 earned runs on 1 1/3 innings of work, the Red Sox dropped their second straight to Cleveland. Tony Massarotti suggests that the Red Sox might need to find themselves another closer. Chris Snow notes that it wasn’t all Foulke’s fault, he merely found himself on the mound at the critical point of the game after ” a series of mistakes and curious decisions.” Steven Krasner looks at another disappointing performance for the Red Sox closer. David Heuschkel and David Borges round up the game stories from a painful evening at Fenway Park.

Nick Cafardo has a further look at Foulke, who he writes, hasn’t endeared himself to anyone this season. Karen Guregian says that the fans have lost patience in Foulke and that the front office many follow suit soon. Joe Haggerty also has an account of Foulke’s struggles last night. Several of Foulke’s comments are sure to be talk radio and whiner line fodder for today. How many callers pretending to be “Johnny from Burger King” do you think will be on the Big Show whiner line this afternoon? John Connolly looks at Travis Hafner, who proved to be the major foil to Foulke with his ninth inning grand slam off the closer. That home run made Hafner 6-10 in the two games this week.

Alex Speier wonders if last night’s starter for the Red Sox, Wade Miller, could be the one headed for the bullpen upon the return of Curt Schilling instead of Bronson Arroyo. Guregian also looks at Boston fans heckling Aaron Boone, I would say the booing is more out of obligation rather than hate, as the events of 2004 have gone a long way towards healing the wounds inflicted by Boone in 2003. Gerry Callahan, (subscription only) writes that this Red Sox team really doesn’t have any pressing needs (perhaps written prior to last night’s bullpen implosion) and that Theo Epstein might have the luxury of doing nothing at the trading deadline. Massarotti has a brief update on Schilling, who is scheduled to pitch tonight in Charlotte for the PawSox. Connolly has a look at Kevin Youkilis, who is willing to fill in wherever he is needed for Terry Francona.

Snow’s notebook looks at Schilling getting top billing for his start tonight, a “return” for the pitcher to Charlotte. Krasner’s notebook has more on Schilling. Massarotti’s notebook has Johnny Damon sticking up for Foulke. Heuschkel’s notebook looks at a rough month of June for Wade Miller. Borges’ notebook has Jason Varitek stating that it would be an honor for him and his team should he be elected the starting catcher for the American League in the All Star game.

Get more news on the NBA draft as well as stories on the Yankees bullpen also blowing a game over on the New York Sports Headlines page.

Glen Farley rehashes Peter King’s SI article about Ty Law, and how the former Patriot is still out looking for a home in the NFL. Donovan Slack reports on Russian President Vladimir Putin walking off with Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl Ring. The Herald also has the story.

James Murphy has Bruins defenseman Nick Boynton hoping to return to Boston and start playing hockey again very soon. When exactly IS the NHL going to announce a new labor deal?

Bonnie DeSimone has an article in the Globe on Lance Armstrong as he prepares to attempt to win his 7th…and final…Tour De France.

NESN has Red Sox/Indians at 1:00 this afternoon.(ESPN Nationally) ESPN has Yankees/Orioles at 7:00. ESPN2 has Giants/Diamondbacks at 10:00.

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