Felger: Ainge's drafts have never blown us away

Felger: Ainge's drafts have never blown us away

I'm stealing this question straight from one of our fine producers at CSN, Jeff Capotosto. I'm not insightful enough to come up with it on my own, so I'll swipe it.

Question: What has been Danny Ainge's home-run draft pick in his 13 years in charge of the Boston Celtics? 

Has he ever had one? If he has, someone has to tell me who it is. 

Al Jefferson? Just because someone (i.e., buddy Kevin McHale) overpaid for his services doesn't mean he's a great player. Rajon Rondo (draft day trade in 2006)? Meh. I know a lot of you liked him for a time, but is he a singular talent? Sorry, he never was and never will be. Same goes for Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger, Ryan Gomes, Delonte West and/or Tony Allen. 

We're not suggesting Ainge is a bad drafter. He hasn't had many lottery picks to work with and you can certainly point to many good selections. He's gotten value low in the process. Rondo at 21. Bradley at 19. Allen at 25. Kendrick Perkins at 27. Gomes and Big Baby Davis (draft day trade in 2007) in the second round. 

But he doesn't have a Klay Thompson (11th) or a Khwai Leonard (15th overall) on his draft resume. He doesn't have a Draymond Green (second round), Tony Parker (28th overall), Manu Ginobili (second round) or DeAndre Jordan (second round). 

Again, I'm not blaming Ainge for it. Some of those picks were flat-out miracles. No other teams have been able to do what the Spurs or Warriors (Steph Curry at 7 is also ridiculous) have done, either. 

But if you believe Ainge is going to pull some magic with this Brooklyn draft pick, I want to know what you're basing it on. His history suggests he might get a nice prospect and an interesting player, like a Jefferson or a Marcus Smart. But if this third overall pick turns into something truly special, it will be the first time Ainge has done it.

But a trade? Now we're talking. I know he can do that.

Email Felger at mfelger@comcastsportsnet.com. Listen to Felger and Mazz weekdays, 2-6 p.m., 98.5 FM. The simulcast runs daily on CSN.

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

NBC Sports Boston Photo

NBC Sports Boston Breakfast Pod: Kyrie Irving getting second opinion on injured knee

1:15 - A. Sherrod Blakely joins Gary Tanguay and Trenni Kusnierek to discuss Kyrie Irving getting a second opinion on his injured knee and what the Kyrie’s options are for the remainder of the season.

5:53 - Kyle Draper and Brian Scalabrine break down the Celtics stunning last second comeback win over the Thunder with multiple key players sitting out.

10:27 - Tom Curran and Jerod Mayo stop by Early Edition to play a game of Fill in the Blank that involves Gronkowski’s contract and the Patriots best offseason acquisition.



Morris caps off improbable comeback vs Thunder

USA TODAY Sports Photo

Morris caps off improbable comeback vs Thunder

BOSTON – Marcus Morris has never been one to lack for confidence, regardless of time or score.

So with the game on the line, Morris … hesitated?

Uh, not exactly. 

It was a pump fake to create just enough space to launch what would become a game-winning 3-pointer that lifted Boston to an improbable 100-99 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. 

Morris was asked about his uh, hesitation before draining the first game-winner of his NBA career.

“Hesitation? I don’t even know how to spell that (bleep),” quipped Morris. 

Morris arrived in Boston as a two-way talent via trade from Detroit, whose strength was more at the defensive end of the floor.

But with Kyrie Irving (left knee soreness) and Jaylen Brown (concussion) both out, Morris has emerged as one of the team’s primary scoring options. 

“He’s another huge part of our team moving forward,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “If you’re counting on 13 or 14 (points) from him, now we’re counting on 16 or 18.”

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Boston’s 100-99 win over Oklahoma City. 


Marcus Morris: Even before he drained the game-winning basket, Morris was having a good night for the Celtics. He finished with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting to go with four rebounds and one steal.

Jayson Tatum: He has looked to score more now with key players sidelined, and the Celtics will be better for this long-term. Tatum had 21 points and 11 rebounds for Boston. And being 20 years and 17 days old, he became the youngest player in franchise history to have a game of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds, bettering the previous record set by Antoine Walker (20 years and 165 days old on Jan. 24, 1997.

Russell Westbrook: A normal night for Russell Westbrook is a career game-like performance for most NBA players. He led the Thunder with 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. 

Paul George: Boston had problems limiting Paul George most of the game. For the second time in as many games this season against Boston, George tallied a double-double. He had 24 points on 9-for-19 shooting along with a game-high 13 rebounds.



Greg Monroe: On those stretches when the Celtics are thirsty for points, he has been the ultimate thirst-quencher off the bench. He led all reserves on Tuesday with 17 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field to go with six rebounds, three assists and a blocked shot.

Shane Larkin: He continues to make the most of his increased role with Kyrie Irving out. Larkin had 13 points off the bench on 5-for-9 shooting with four rebounds.



Carmelo Anthony: He had 13 points on 5-for-13 shooting, but Melo’s impact was minimal at best. What he will be remembered for from this game was the two free throw misses with 8.4 seconds and the Thunder up two points, that set up the Celtics’ Marcus Morris for his game-winning 3-pointer.

Al Horford: This was yet another stinker in terms of shooting the ball, for Al Horford. Not only did he miss shots that he knows he should have knocked down, but many came at a time when the Celtics needed a big shot to get some semblance of control. Usually it’s Horford whose play lifts Boston to victory. But on this night, it was his teammates who bailed him out because if Boston lost this game you can bet there would have been plenty of eyes that would gloss past his seven assists and six rebounds, and instead lock on to his five points (on 2-for-9 shooting) and four turnovers.