The Boston papers have seemingly forgotten the Celtics. You would think there would at least be a little draft buzz or some summer work out plans articles or something! But there are a few things worth mentioning.
First, SportsColumn has a couple of little tidbits. The first about Pierce not playing for the USA team:
Apparently the Boston Celtics don't have a solid grasp of exactly how the NBA lottery system works because it looks like Paul Pierce will not be participating in the upcoming Olympics due to his injuries. We know that Danny Ainge is desperate to get that hopper loaded full of green and white ping pong balls but someone should tell him that international competition doesn't count. You know how naïve good ol' Danny boy can be when it comes to things like this. Remember that time that he just "accidentally" ended up sitting next to Kevin Durant's mom during the Big 12 Tournament? Talk about a desperate franchise; after the season they just had, there's no way that Ainge is going to let his lone All-Star anywhere near harm's way, even if it is in the name of the U.S.A. And if those ping pong balls bounce Boston's way then the Celtics could be sporting a pair of superstars when the season starts anew in the fall.
They take a couple of shots at the Celtics here insinuating that now that the season is over, Pierce can stop faking injuries. But the fact that he is giving up playing for the USA team that he so strongly lobbied to get on should prove that he wasn't tanking for the team but was really injured and needs the time to heal. Let's hope those ping pong balls fall our way, but I can tell you that I am not all that sure that they will. 21 years of bad luck can do that to you.
Speaking of not being sure of getting a top 2 pick, Hoopsworld has a piece that discusses the choices beyond the second pick. The piece covers 5 players who could be available to us if we pick 3-5. The players that won "pick" status include Horfort, Hibbert, and Conley Jr. Those who are in the "pass column" are Wright and Yi. I am thinking that if we slip out of the top 2, Wyc may bring some influence to pick Yi for financial reasons. He would definitely bring in more revenue and draw a lot of attention to the team, especially from the millions of new fans we would pull in from China. Danny did take 2 trips there to scout him.
Celtics.com has an interview with Chris Wallace. He discusses scouting the draft, the new rules with the workouts, international scouting and international players available and more.
The Sun Journal has a couple of Celtics tidbits among a lot of other things. • Tommy Heinsohn will be representing the Celtics at the draft lottery on May 22.
Bad as I want to see Boston get one of the first two picks, the mind races with comic possibilities of Tommy's reaction if David Stern opens the envelope for the No. 8 slot and pulls out a card with the Celtics' logo.
• If the Celtics end up drafting Greg Oden and Doc Rivers survives all of next season, I'm guaranteeing that he will set a new record for fouling out. The Celts' perimeter defense under Doc is so porous that Don Meineke's 54-year-old record of 26 disqualifications in a season will be broken by March.
It's nice to know that it isn't just me being frustrated with Doc's defensive coaching. A lot of Perk's fouls come from the team defense being so bad. Doc just doesn't take defense seriously enough. He also doesn't play bigs to their strengths. I really want a new coach.
Troy Nunes is an absolute magician poses the question as to whether Oden is really 19. In spite of the fact that his mom always carries his birth certificate with her and it is pretty much worn out by now, questions still lurk as to his age.
You see, Greg was on ESPN's First Take yesterday morning. I'll let Sports at Random fill in the rest:
"Today on the show formerly known as Cold Pizza, we were given proof that Greg Oden is not actually 19 years old. Oden was asked what his favorite basketball team of all-time is, or something like that, and he said he grew up watching Bird's Celtic teams. Larry Bird retired in 1992 (when Oden was 4), won his last NBA title in 1986, and the last time they even made the Eastern Conference Finals with Bird was 1988, when Oden was supposedly 4 months old. If that's not proof, I don't know what is."