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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UNC SF Harrison Barnes 06.19.12 at 1:24 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

After two standout seasons at North Carolina, forward Harrison Barnes has a bright NBA future. (AP)

HARRISON BARNES

Position: Small forward

School: North Carolina

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-8

Weight: 228 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-ACC first team, 2012 All-America second team, 2011 ACC Rookie of the Year

Key 2011-12 stats: 17.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, 29.2 minutes

What he brings: Barnes is an athletic 6-foot-8 small forward who has the range and accuracy to be effective with mid-range and 3-point shots at the NBA level. While he used to be an interior player in high school, he is projected to play the wing at the next level, and he is still learning the position. Barnes has the potential to be a go-to player at the NBA. He has been compared to the Pacers’ Danny Granger.

While his shooting ability is unquestioned, the main flaw for Barnes is the lack of an explosive first step. Barnes has the ability to make tough shots, but struggles to create easy shots for himself off the dribble. If he can improve his ball-handling and ability to attack the basket, Barnes could be a star in the league.

Where the Celtics could get him: Barnes is projected to land somewhere between picks 4-9, so the Celtics would need to create a big trade package if they have interest in him.

Notes: Barnes was a highly recruited prospect coming out of high school before attending North Carolina, winning the Morgan Wootten player of the year award in 2010. In the 2010 Jordan Classic, Barnes was named co-MVP with Kyrie Irving. Barnes could end up playing alongside Irving next season should the Cavaliers take Barnes at No. 4.

Recent articles:

CBS Sports: Cavaliers will not let Harrison Barnes slip past them

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Lottery hopeful Harrison Barnes wisely following in Kyrie Irving’s footsteps

Video: Here’s a compilation of Barnes highlights from the 2011-12 season.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Harrison Barnes,
2012 NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: UConn SG Jeremy Lamb 06.17.12 at 4:09 pm ET
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As part of WEEI.com’s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.

Jeremy Lamb is headed to the NBA after two impressive seasons at UConn. (AP)

JEREMY LAMB

Position: Shooting guard

School: UConn

Age: 20

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 180 pounds

Achievements: 2012 All-America honorable mention (AP), 2012 All-Big East first team

Key 2011-12 stats: 17.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 37.2 minutes

What he brings: Lamb is a well-rounded shooting guard who stands out as one of this draft’s options at the position along with Bradley Beal of Florida and Austin Rivers of Duke.

While Lamb is a good scorer thanks to his ability to hit pull-up jump shots, he is even better on the defensive end and plays well off the ball. Lamb is noted for his freakish 7-foot wingspan on his 6-foot-5 body, which adds to his already good size at the shooting guard position. Lamb is also a smart player who doesn’t make too many mental mistakes and gets good positioning on both ends of the court.

Lamb, who played two seasons at UConn, has been compared to players like Richard Hamilton or Kevin Martin leading up to the draft. He has the ability to be a good complementary starting scoring option for a team, but more importantly a great defender who can help lock down the opposition’s top scorers.

Where the Celtics could get him: Most projections have Lamb going somewhere between picks 7-13, which is currently out of the Celtics range. If the Celtics want Lamb, they will have to trade up and might have to package both of their first-round picks in the deal.

Notes: Lamb was a key part of UConn’s national championship run in 2011 as a freshman, when he played a key role as a complementary scoring option to current Bobcats point guard Kemba Walker. … Lamb, who grew up in Georgia, competed with Team USA at the U-19 FIBA World Championships, leading the team with 16.2 points per game and 18 steals in nine games. … Lamb’s father, Rolando Lamb, played basketball at Virginia Commonwealth. In the opening round of the 1984 NCAA tournament, Rolando hit a game-winning shot at the buzzer to defeat Northeastern (led by now-UConn coach Jim Calhoun).

Recent Articles:

Hartford Courant: Lamb fighting laid-back reputation

CSN Washington: Could Lamb satisfy the Wizards’ wing craving?

Video: Here’s a highlight mix of Lamb.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jeremy Lamb,
Adrian Wojnarowski on D&C: LeBron James’ playoff disappearance ‘not going to happen again’ 06.08.12 at 1:06 pm ET
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Yahoo! Sports NBA writer Adrian Wojnarowski joined Dennis & Callahan Friday morning to discuss the Celtics’ Game 6 loss to the Heat, and the incredible performance by LeBron James. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

While LeBron has been criticized for not making enough of an impact in crucial playoff games, he silenced the critics Thursday night, something Wojnarowski said he expects to happen more often now.

“He can summon that and you’ve seen it before,” he said. “You will probably see it again Saturday night. I don’t know if you will see 45 points on Saturday night but I he has had moments in the past in big games where he has played great in Game 7s. You saw him and [Paul] Pierce have that duel back in Cleveland and Boston was the better team then. He has got the better team now.

“There have been moments where he just isn’t engaged. You saw it in Game 5 against Boston in his last season at Cleveland and then obviously last year in the finals. People wait to see that happen again and it’s not going to happen again.”

Wojnarowski attributed the performance to the increased maturity of James, something that has changed since his days in Cleveland.

“He didn’t come out last night and say, ‘Hey, I got fueled the last two days by what everyone said.’ He didn’t do that. He said, ‘Listen, I just went back to how I play and how I built my game.’ I thought his answer was – I really think he matured mentally … He always looked more frenetic when he was younger and not at peace. [Now he is] more mature,” Wojnarowski said. “When you would see him bouncing around in Cleveland, around the locker room, you don’t see that anymore.”

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Malcom Huckaby praises Eric Spoelstra on D&C 06.01.12 at 10:26 am ET
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Former Boston College guard Malcolm Huckaby, who was signed to a one-year deal by the Heat in 1996-97, joined Dennis & Callahan on Friday and offered his opinion of Heat coach Eric Spoelstra. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Huckaby recalled working with Spoelstra during his time as a member of the Heat, when Spoelstra was a video coordinator for the team.

“When I was playing down there in 1996-97, the assistant coaches really didn’t get the type of credit they do today in terms of helping guys develop and how valuable they are to the head coaches,” Huckaby said. “He and Stan Van Gundy, who was also an assistant down there at the time, these guys would function on about three hours of sleep.

“We would come back and, prior to moving into the American Airlines arena, we had a practice facility and these guys literally would sleep there overnight.”

Huckaby went on to discuss Spoelstra’s role in the development of Dwyane Wade, who quickly developed into a star partly due to Spoelstra’s coaching.

“Obviously, everybody knows that Dwyane Wade is a great slasher, a guy who can get to the hole and is very explosive,” Huckaby said. “But the thing I think has improved in his game is his consistency of his jumper. He credits Eric Spoelstra for that.”

Wade made headlines for confronting Spoelstra during a timeout in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. Huckaby said he does not see that as a current issue between the two though, as both Wade and Spoelstra appear to have moved on.

“Nobody wants to see that happen, in particular when it’s your star player going up against any coach, whether it’s a veteran coach or a young coach,” Huckaby said. “It happens, they have moved on, and they have rebounded pretty quickly from that the way Wade came back afterwards and had a pretty good game in that Indiana series. I think that is kind of in the rearview mirror for them right now.”

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Read More: Eric Spoelstra, Malcolm Huckaby, Miami Heat,
National view: Media backs Celtics’ criticism of Game 1 referees 05.29.12 at 4:34 pm ET
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Entering Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night, the buzz surrounded names like LeBron JamesDwyane WadeKevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. By the end of the game, though, the spotlight turned toward referees Dan Crawford and Ed Malloy.

Crawford and Malloy raised eyebrows with their questionable technical foul calls that went against the Celtics, particularly in the second quarter. By the end of the game, the Celtics were whistled for five technical foul calls while the Heat were not called for any.

ESPN basketball analyst Stephen A. Smith was one who voiced his concerns over the game’s officiating, noting that Ray Allen in particular did not do enough to earn a technical foul.

“Don’t tell me that [Crawford] would just arbitrarily decide, ‘I’m going to give Ray Allen a tech for saying no and turning away,’ ” Smith said. “That’s got to be something that’s coming from the league. It makes no sense to me.

“For an official to give you a technical over something like that, to say it’s egregious is a gross understatement. They really, really need to fall back. It is ridiculous.”

Another one of the technical foul calls Monday night was a team technical foul for delay of game after Garnett tapped the ball behind the baseline following a second-quarter field goal.

Even the Florida media questioned that call, as Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wrote: “A delay-of-game technical foul on the Celtics in the first half of a playoff game, really?”

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Read More: Dwyane Wade, Kevin Garnett, LeBron James, Rajon Rondo
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