Celtics prospect Zizic scores 14 points in his best Euroleague game to date

Celtics prospect Zizic scores 14 points in his best Euroleague game to date

BOSTON – It didn’t take Ante Zizic long to adjust to playing in the Adriatic League earlier this season.

Well he’s proving to be a quick study in the more competitive Euroleague as well while playing for Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul which is coached by former Cleveland Cavaliers head coach and Framingham native David Blatt.

Zizic, drafted by the Boston Celtics with the No. 23 pick in last June’s NBA draft, had his best Euroleague game to date on Thursday but Darussafaka still came up short 93-92 to Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv which used to be coached by Blatt.

The 7-foot Zizic came off the bench to score 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting with nine rebounds.

He wasn’t the only player on the floor with ties to the Celtics.

Former Celtic Semih Erden starts at center for Darussafaka and against Maccaib Tel Aviv he had four points and five rebounds in 10 minutes. Also, Luke Harangody comes off the Darussafaka bench as well and on Thursday he had seven points in eight minutes of action.

For Maccabi Fox Tel Aviv, former Celtics second-round pick Colton Iverson had six points and four rebounds.

While it’s great to see what former Celtics are up to, Green Teamers are far more concerned with the going-ons of Zizic whose reputation of having a high motor continues to remain one of his strengths even against more NBA-ready talent.

In his first Euroleague game, an 81-77 loss to FC Barcelona Lassa, Zizic had four points with six rebounds along with two steals and two blocked shots in 16 minutes.

He didn’t dominate, but he showed off some of the immense potential that speaks to why the Celtics plan to have him playing in Boston next season.

In his first game, Zizic was matched up at times against former NBA forward Joey Dorsey who played four seasons for Houston (twice), Sacramento and Toronto.

Zizic, who turned 20 years old on Wednesday, used his length and non-stop motor to not be overpowered by the muscular Dorsey in addition to limiting him (Dorsey had two points, six rebounds) as a scorer or rebounder – skills that the Celtics are eager to see on display next season at the TD Garden.

Rozier gets a big test tonight against Thunder

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Rozier gets a big test tonight against Thunder

BOSTON -- Terry Rozier has stepped up his game this season. There’s no disputing that point. 
And the Celtics have rewarded him with increased playing time, which he has proven he deserves. 
While he has made the most of his opportunity with an increased role due to injuries, at some point Rozier’s minutes should go back to being 20 or so per game. 
It’s amazing how far Rozier has come in such a short period of time, from a first-round pick many questioned as being a reach on Boston’s part, to an integral part of the team’s quest towards Banner 18.
And it is games like tonight’s against the Oklahoma City Thunder that will put the experience gained by Rozier as a major contributor, to the ultimate test when he faces off against reigning league MVP Russell Westbrook.
No one expects Rozier to put up Westbrook-like numbers . . . but would anyone be shocked if he did?
Remember, Rozier’s first NBA start came this season and he racked up his first career triple-double. The next game out, he dropped a career-high 31 points. 
But as we get deeper into the season, he’s no longer viewed as a backup or a role player, They see him as a player that has to be accounted for, regardless of whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. 
“There’s a lot of teams in this league you could easily see him starting for,” a league executive told NBC Sports Boston via text. “He’s not Kyrie [Irving] obviously, and he’s a different kind of player than Marcus [Smart], but he can play. If teams didn’t know it before, they know it now.”
Rozier may not be a secret anymore, but here are five under-the-radar story lines to keep an eye on tonight as the Celtics go for the season sweep against the Oklahoma City Thunder. 


If the Celts expect to win tonight, they better get it done in four quarters of play. Because overtime has been a good time for the Thunder. They come into tonight’s game with a 3-0 record in overtime this season. They are one of eight teams with an unblemished overtime record, and no other team in the league this season has as more wins (3) in overtime without a single defeat. 


The NBA hit Marcus Morris up for $15,000 following “verbal abuse of a game official” at the end of Boston’s 108-89 loss at New Orleans.  Morris will be lighter in the wallet, obviously. But it also might get him even more fired up tonight which could lead to him lighting up the Thunder. 


Scoring around the basket has not been a strength of the Celtics, but with key players on the perimeter hurt, Boston has to generate points in other ways. Doing so against the Thunder, a team that has allowed 43.1 points in the paint per game --10th-fewest allowed in the league this season -- will be a challenge.


At some point tonight, Boston will be challenged to get back on defense and not allow Russell Westbrook to score on the break. The Celtics have been one of the league’s better transition defense teams in allowing 10.2 fast-break points, which is the fourth-fewest allowed per game this season. Meanwhile, the Thunder average 14.1 fast-break points, which ranks third in the league. 


The Celtic players talk all the time about how great the TD Garden crowd can be. But at the end of games lately, they haven’t let them much to cheer about. The C's come into tonight’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder with losses in five of their last seven home games with the lone wins coming over Memphis and Charlotte – two teams currently out of playoff seeding. Boston’s last home win over a team that’s currently in the top 8 was a 97-96 win over Portland on Feb. 4, a game in which Al Horford hit a game-winning, fadeaway jumper as time expired.


Report: Kyrie Irving may need screws removed from knee

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Report: Kyrie Irving may need screws removed from knee

BOSTON — Kyrie Irving is reportedly going to get a second opinion on his sore left knee which may result in him having season-ending surgery.

98.5 The Sports Hub’s Tony Massarotti reported on Tuesday that Irving will get a second opinion as early as Wednesday.

Irving suffered a fractured left knee cap during the 2015 NBA Finals.

He underwent surgery that sidelined him for the rest of the playoffs.

The surgical procedure performed on his knee involved the insertion of screws to aid the stabilization of the  kneecap.

The Celtics have already been ravaged by injuries this season. They lost Gordon Hayward just five minutes into the season due to a left ankle injury. Daniel Theis is out for the season with a torn meniscus injury to his left knee. Marcus Smart recently had right thumb surgery that will keep him out for the rest of the regular season, with there being a chance he will return at some point for the playoffs. And Jaylen Brown suffered a concussion that has him sidelined, as well.