For the Celtics, one thing is clear, if they’re going to come back and again become one of the league’s elite franchises, they’re not going to be handed the biggest piece to the puzzle.

Boston received the lowest pick that it could get under the rules, ending up with the fifth overall pick and losing out on franchise players Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, who will start their pro careers in Portland and Seattle.

Shira Springer goes behind the scenes with Wyc Grousbeck as the lottery unfolded. Mark Murphy says that the Celtics can now only put on a brave face as they prepare for the future. Kevin McNamara has more on the latest kick in the teeth to the once-fabled Celtics franchise. Scott Souza looks at the Celtics falling as far as they could in the lottery. Christopher Price calls it “a sickening case of deja vu for Celtics fans.”

Bob Ryan notes that the unnamed curse continued last night, as the streak of incredibly bad fortune that has haunted the Celtics since 1986 struck again. Steve Bulpett has Danny Ainge trying to stay positive while acknowledging that the team will consider trading that fifth pick. Jeff Jacobs calls this “one of the great punches to the gut in New England basketball history.” Lenny Megliola says that “last night was all about for Celtics’ fans was hope and belief” – which was promptly shattered.

Tony Massarotti has the worst case scenario coming true for the Celtics, as the system failed them once again. Desmond Conner wonders “if this was a case of a message being sent on tanking.” Bill Doyle says that the jobs of Doc Rivers and Danny Ainge just got a whole lot tougher this year. Tim Weisberg says “Just like everything else this season, the Ping-Pong balls didn’t fall their way, either.”

Jeff Goodman looks at the leftovers…which players after Oden and Durant could help the Celtics the most. Bulpett says that this wasn’t the result that Doc Rivers had dream of in recent nights. Murphy has Tom Heinsohn giving his reaction to the night’s events.

From the world of blogging, Mike McMahon looks at the Celtics steak of bad luck marching on. Celtics Blog is still reeling from the stomach punch they received around 8:45 last night.

Red Sox
The Red Sox pushed their lead over the Yankees back up to 10.5 games last night with a 7-3 win over New York. Julian Tavarez got the win, while Manny Ramirez got the Red Sox off to a good start with a three run homer off of Mike Mussina in the first inning.

Gordon Edes has Tavarez and buddies Ramirez and David Ortiz leading the Red Sox to victory. Jeff Horrigan notes that at least the ball bounced right for one of the Boston teams last night. Sean McAdam has Tavarez and the Red Sox pushing the Yankees back down. Dom Amore has the Yankees getting back to damage control after a couple nights of hope. Bill Ballou has Tavarez continuing his remarkable transformation from this time a year ago.

Ton Massarotti looks at the job done by Julian Tavarez last night against the Yankees star-studded lineup. Dan Shaughnessy has more on Tavarez, who was saying all the right things after the game. John Altavilla has the Red Sox avoiding any talk that the AL East race is over, despite the media’s best efforts to get them to say so. Alex Speier has the decision on Curt Schilling’s future becoming more complicated by the day.

Steve Buckley says that it is clear that Manny Ramirez loves to hit in Yankee Stadium. Michael Silverman looks at the performance of the bullpen last night, with Javier Lopez emerging as the star of the night, while Okajima and Papelbon had their struggles. Kevin Gray has Bob Tewksbury giving kids in NH a pep talk.
Buckley says that Curt Schilling is just ahead of the curve on this blogging thing, soon many more athletes are going to be doing it. Horrigan has Dustin Pedroia upset with ARod for a cheap shot during a slide into second base. ( Video)

Nick Cafardo notes that Mike Mussina is a mess, and that the Yankees really need Roger Clemens right now. Silverman has Johnny Damon happy to be with the Yankees, regardless of where they currently are in the standings.

Check the reaction in NY with the New York Sports Pages.

Horrigan’s notebook has J.D. Drew trying not to over-analyze his own swing as he tries to break out the slump that he has been in all month. Edes’ notebook has Josh Beckett on pace to rejoin the rotation next Tuesday against the Indians. McAdam’s notebook has more on the ARod cheap shot on Pedroia. John Altavilla’s notebook has more on Drew’s slump. Ballou’s notebook has the Red Sox 10.5 lead the largest division lead in baseball.

Jim Donaldson says that Junior Seau must be thinking the same thing as Patriots fans, and wants to be along for the ride. Karen Guregian says that another football senior citizen, Vinny Testaverde, also wants to be along for the Patriots ride. Mark Farinella wonders if the proposed new Patriots Place is out of place in Foxboro.