Ante Zizic making strides in Croatia

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Post by bobheckler on Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:08 am

Celtics draft pick Ante Zizic making strides in Croatia



Boston Celtics basketball draft picks for 2016 pose from left, Jaylen Brown, Guerschon Yabusele, Ben Bentil, Ante Zizic and Abdel Nader, after they were introduced to media Friday, June 24, 2016, in Waltham, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Ante Zizic (second from right) was the 23rd overall pick in June’s draft.
AP



By Adam HimmelsbachGLOBE STAFF


OCTOBER 5, 2016



AMHERST — After the Celtics drafted Ante Zizic with the 23rd overall pick of June’s draft, the Croatian big man made it very clear publicly he wanted to join Boston’s team rather than be stashed overseas.

But that was never in the Celtics’ plans, particularly with such a crowded roster. Celtics director of player personnel Austin Ainge said Zizic’s initial frustration was centered on the fact his Croatian friends Dragan Bender, who was selected fourth overall by the Suns, and Ivica Zubac, who was selected 32nd overall by the Lakers, would be joining their NBA teams this fall. Zizic, 19, did not want to be left out.

“That was a little hard for him,” Ainge said. “But within a couple of weeks he was good, and he’s been working really hard.”

Zizic, who plays for KK Cibona in the Adriatic League, had 17 points and seven rebounds in his team’s season opener Sunday. Although Zizic did not play for the Celtics’ summer league team, Ainge has been to Croatia to meet with him and his coaches, and he texts with him almost every day.

“Just to make sure that he knows that he’s in our plans and is a big part of our future,” Ainge said, “and that we’re monitoring his development.”

Ainge said the 6-foot-11-inch Zizic now weighs about 265 pounds, 15 more than he weighed at the European combine in June. Ainge says that based on his frame, there is still room for him to continue to bulk up.

Zizic is already a strong defensive player and he has been working to develop his post moves.

“It’s great, because he has a big role on the team, which is unique for a 19-year-old,” Ainge said. “They need him. They go to him. He’s a huge part of their team.”




bob
MY NOTE:  First, credit to Austin Ainge for staying on top of this.  Antic is motivated because he doesn't feel like he is on the out of sight, out of mind.  Secondly, 6'11", 265# is a lot of beef.  Physically, at least, he is NBA-ready.


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Post by arambone on Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:01 pm

I guessed that he weighed 260 based on how he looked. 265 is great, and plenty big enough already. Gotta keep that nice agility.

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Post by cowens/oldschool on Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:54 pm

Kelly is a better defender than him right?
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Post by wideclyde on Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:16 pm

Cow,

Watching this guy dunk a few times in a European game does not show me anything much about his defensive skills or aptitude, but I doubt that he should ever be compared to Olynyk as they are totally different players who have and will play totally different NBA positions even though they may have similar height.

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Post by arambone on Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:15 pm

cowens/oldschool wrote:Kelly is a better defender than him right?

Zizic strong enough to play good/great man-to-man D against starting caliber centers, and he's a good/great rebounder. Olynyk never got to play with a guy like that in his 3 years here he's been stuck at center.

But if it came down to Zizic or Olynyk backing up Horford at center, I'd go with Olynyk for his floor spacing, passing, and all around game. Every time.

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Post by cowens/oldschool on Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:43 pm

well we have yet to see Zizic play over here.

fact he was drafted in the first round fact as a 19 year old he led his European league in rebounding fact even though this is a pace and space era, you still need a Tristian Thompson- Bogut type player to anchor the defense and do the dirty work fact the dirty things Kelly obviously cannot do....I'd rather see Zizic develop into the force we hope he can be and not only back up Horford, but PLAY with Horford. There are gonna be big frontlines STILL out there, there is nothing wrong with a 6'11"- 7 foot physical presence in green in the paint, especially if he has the knack for the ball and can rebound.
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Post by arambone on Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:37 pm

19 points in latest game

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