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NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Michigan St. PF Adreian Payne 05.23.14 at 9:00 am ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2014 NBA draft, here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be available to the Celtics when they make their two selections in the first round.


Position: Power forward
School: Michigan State
Age: 23
Height: 6-foot-10
Weight: 239 pounds
Wingspan: 7-foot-4

Key 2013-14 stats: 16.4 points, 7.3 rebounds, 42.3 3P%

Scouting report: Almost every NBA team can use a near 7-footer that hustles, plays with grit, and can shoot 3-pointers at an efficient rate.  Payne brings all of these traits and then some. The fourth-year big man from Michigan State has outstanding shooting mechanics, as he frequently utilizes “the hop” to get his perimeter attempts off quickly.

Because of his athleticism, Payne is also a terrific finisher at the basket (68 percent, according to Hoop-Math). He plays above the rim and is able to get there either via dive cuts, post-ups or alley-oops. This explosiveness will certainly translate to the pros, since more open-court opportunities will be available.

On the other hand, there are some alarming warts that likely will prevent Payne from reaching his true potential. He has smaller than average-sized lungs, which means he can’€™t play for extended periods of time. At Michigan State, Tom Izzo had to manipulate Payne’€™s minutes to allow him to be the most effective he could be, but there are legitimate questions about his ability to sustain productivity over an 82-game season.

Payne also suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Even though Payne is a high-character individual, his on-court decisions make coaches (and fans) shake their heads at times. He misses defensive rotations and had a poor 0.65 assist-to-turnover ratio, illustrating his decision-making difficulty.

Still, Payne brings enough transferable skills to the NBA and deserves consideration as a mid- to late-first-round pick. Even if he’€™s a guy who can only play 20 minutes per game, it’€™s close to a guarantee that he’ll be productive during his time on the court.

How he fits: Brad Stevens likes to stretch the floor with all of his big men, and Payne fits that mold to perfection. He brings exceptional mechanics from both mid- and 3-point range, and could immediately slide into the rotation considering his experience.

Related articles:

ESPN Insider: Payne dealing with mono

Sporting News: Payne sharing Senior Night with Lacey Holsworth beyond special

Video: Here is a video of all 41 of Payne’€™s points against Delaware.

(Kevin O’€™Connor also covers the Celtics for SB Nation and can be reached on Twitter @KevinOConnorNBA.)

Read More: 2014 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Adrian Autry, Boston Celtics, NBA
Irish Coffee: Emptying the Celtics notebook 08.16.12 at 12:40 pm ET
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Over the past week, the digital notebook filled up with interviews of Celtics Avery Bradley, Dionte Christmas, Kris Joseph and Courtney Lee in addition to a conversation with Syracuse assistant coach Adrian Autry.

Most of those discussions can be found in Green Street blog posts on Lee, Bradley and Joseph, but plenty of compelling quotes ended up on the cutting room floor. Here are those deleted scenes.

ADRIAN AUTRY, Syracuse assistant coach

  • On Fab Melo: “I think Fab is with the right team. With the personnel they have, the professionalism they have and Doc Rivers, you’€™re going to see him to continue to get better. He wants to be very, very good. He wants to be a great player. You’€™ll continue to see him get better, just like he made leaps and bounds with us from his first year to his second. He works hard in the gym. He gives 110 percent. He’€™ll be fine.”
  • On Joseph’s character: “It being my first year coming in, he made my job a lot easier. He was the leader of our group, he was talented, and he caught on to everything very quickly. We hit it off right away. He was the first person I reached out to when I got the job. … I always knew about his talent, and I was excited to work with all the tools that he had to offer, but when I got to spend some time with him and talk about his background, it took me to another level.”
  • On Syracuse’s zone: “A lot of elements of our zone are man-to-man. In practice, we do man-to-man segments because teams play us man-to-man. Our guys have an idea.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Adrian Autry, Avery Bradley, Boston Celtics, Courtney Lee
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