Media Day Predictions

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Media Day Predictions

Unfortunately, I wont be at Celtics Media Day tomorrow because of an out-of-town commitment, but I still want to pass along a few preemptive thoughtspredictions.

Here we go.

Get ready for Rajon Rondo to blow your mind.

Thats my stone cold lock for tomorrows event: Rondo will emerge as the king. Hell say all the right things. Hell display a level of confidence and comfort that youve never seen. Hell crack a few jokes, flash that maniacal smirk and have the world eating out of his alien hands.

This is the preseason of Rondo, folks. And hopefully it wont stop there.

Get ready for Jason Terry to make headlines.

Something to the effect of: Terry says Cs are team to beat in the East or Celtics new addition guarantees Banner 18, or Jason Terry unveils new forehead tattoo of Red Auerbach and Larry OBrien playing ping-pong.

Get ready for Paul Pierce to talk about getting old.

Kevin Garnett would rather invite Darko to live in his guest room than even mention that three letter word old. On the other hand, Pierce has embraced it. I guess that makes sense given the Captains personality and the fact that his game has always had a significant amount of old man in it (I mean that in the most flattering way possible), but whatever the reason, expect a few Im getting too old for this or these young guys jokes from the Truth.

Get ready for KG to blind you with analogy

Something along the lines of:

You know, we got a lot of new pieces this year. And we all know that coming together won't be easy. Its like building a ship, man. I dont know if any of yall know anything about building ships. If not, you can go ask your local captains about that. But you know, we gotta start with the barracks. Thats the dirty work right there, man. That takes some time. And to be completely honest, thats all we even worried about right now. Were not even thinking about sailing at this juncture. Period point blank.

Get ready for Jeff Green to be ready to prove everyone wrong.
Whether its Spring Training, NFL Training Camp or any professional preseason, theres always a reclamation story. A guy whos looking to put the past behind him and "silence the doubters. Granted, most of the time, that guy didnt just a sign a 36M contract, but such is life for Green. Hell be Media Day's feel good story, and the best-case scenario in all subsequent coverage.

Get ready to meet Courtney Lee

Everyone in Boston was and is excited about the addition of Lee, but I doubt half the fans have ever heard him speak, can pick him out of a line-up or are even that familiar with his game. Tomorrow, Celtics Nation finally gets to know the guy they've obsessed over for months.

Get ready for the rookies to talk about KG.

Fab, have you spoken to Kevin? Jared, how's it been with Kevin? Fab and Jared, have you been locked in a dark room and interrogated by Kevin?

This isn't a knock on the media. After all, we got all the introductory sound bites we needed from these guys during Summer League. What else is there to discuss?

From now until the start of the season, it's all about life at KG University where class is always in session.

Get ready for at least one potentially four or five replacement ref jokes from Doc.
He loves the NFL. He loves topical humor. Put the two together and hes bound to drop at least one reference to the referee lockout. And assuming he gets a laugh, no doubt he goes back to the well at least a few more times.

And most of all, get ready to have basketball back in your life.

Amen.
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Draymond Green fined $25,000, not suspended for groin kick

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Draymond Green fined $25,000, not suspended for groin kick

NEW YORK - Draymond Green was fined $25,000 but not suspended by the NBA on Monday for kicking Oklahoma City center Steven Adams in the groin.

The league also upgraded the foul to a flagrant 2, which would have resulted in an automatic ejection had officials given it that ruling when it happened. That moved him closer to an automatic suspension for accumulation of flagrant foul points.

But Green will be on the court when the Warriors try to even the Western Conference finals at 2-2 on Tuesday at Oklahoma City.

Green was called for a flagrant 1 foul after he was fouled by Adams with 5:57 remaining in the second quarter and kicked his leg up into Adams' groin. Though the Thunder felt it was intentional, Green and Warriors coach Steve Kerr said they believed the flagrant would actually be rescinded by the league.

NBA Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Kiki VanDeWeghe disagreed.

"After a thorough investigation that included review of all available video angles and interviews with the players involved and the officials working the game, we have determined that Green's foul was unnecessary and excessive and warranted the upgrade and fine," VanDeWeghe said in a statement.

"During a game, players - at times - flail their legs in an attempt to draw a foul, but Green's actions in this case warranted an additional penalty."

The NBA determines a flagrant 1 foul to include "unnecessary contact." A flagrant 2 is defined as "unnecessary and excessive contact."

Green now has three flagrant foul points during the postseason. One more will force him to miss Golden State's next game.

Green was an All-Star and the runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year, but had a dismal game as Oklahoma City took a 2-1 lead. He was 1 for 9 from the field with six points and the Warriors were outscored by 43 points when he was on the court.

China's 7-foot-2 Zhou Qi an intriguing option for Celtics

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China's 7-foot-2 Zhou Qi an intriguing option for Celtics

BOSTON -- With eight picks in next month’s NBA draft there’s a very good chance the Celtics will go the draft-and-stash route with a couple of international players, with the goal being for them to stay overseas and grow their game.

That makes China’s Zhou Qi (pronounced Joe Chee), who was in town last week for a workout with the Celtics, a legitimate target with one of Boston’s three, first-round picks.

Selecting Zhou with the No. 3 overall pick is not going to happen. And selecting a player to keep tucked away with the 16th pick is a bit of a stretch, too.

But taking Zhou at No. 23 is definitely something the Celtics will consider. Boston also has five second-round picks, but league executives contacted this weekend by CSNNE.com anticipate he will be taken in the latter stages of the first round.

While little is known about Zhou in the United States, the Celtics have had him on their radar for quite some time.

“We’ve known about him for a couple of years,” said Austin Ainge, Boston’s director of player personnel. “He’s probably the third- or fourth-most recognized name in Chinese basketball.

Indeed, Zhou is trying to follow a path towards the NBA that was paved by Chinese big men Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian, who were both high lottery picks (Yao was the No. 1 overall pick for Houston in 2002 while Yi was selected with the sixth overall pick in 2007 by Milwaukee).

Zhou’s stock isn’t quite that high, but there’s no mistaking he's a player that several teams with first-round picks are intrigued by.

At 7-2 1/4, Zhou’s wingspan at the NBA combine earlier this month measured an astounding 7-7 3/4. The only other player whose wingspan was greater than that at the NBA combine was Utah’s Rudy Gobert (7-8 1/2). Zhou has a standing reach of 9-4 1/2 and can touch the rim on his tippy toes.

However, Zhao’s lithe frame (he weighs 218.2 pounds, which is a little more than 10 pounds more than he weighed a few months ago) is indeed reason for some teams to give serious thought to keeping him overseas to fill out his frame for another year or two.

Despite being so skinny, teams have raved about his surprisingly nimble movement as well as his skill level.

During the combine earlier this month in Chicago, Zhou showed some his deft shooting touch by draining 14-of-25 3s taken from five different points on the floor. In addition to his scoring, Zhou is a much more athletic big man that most might expect, which can be seen in his maximum vertical leap measuring out at 31 1/2 inches.

Think about this:

The guy can practically touch the rim without jumping, and then you top that off with a vertical leap of more than 30 inches?

Boston was just one of a handful of teams the 20-year-old decided to work out for leading up to next month’s draft. 

“It was great to have him in,” Ainge said.

The Suns were another. During his workout with Phoenix, the Suns pitted him against Eric Jacobsen of Arizona State. They were looking to see how Zhou handled himself against Jacobsen, who is a 6-10, 240-pound center.

“Usually my hand is up by the ball, but I was getting up to his face and the ball was, way up there,” Jacobsen told the Arizona Republic.

Suns assistant general manager Pat Connelly was eager to get an up-close look at how Zhou handled himself against a strong center like Jacobsen.

“You can see that stuff on tape, but it’s always good to see a guy come in and get an appreciation for how a guy takes the contact,” Connelly told the Republic. “Which will be important for him going forward. He did well.”