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Erden Watch: FIBA postscript

AP Photo

Semih Erden throws down an emphatic dunk in the semifinals.Celtics rookie center Semih Erden continues to draw praise on the heels of his performance at the 2010 FIBA World Championships, where he helped host Turkey earn a silver medal.

Erden gets a solid review from TrueHoop's Henry Abbott in a post with observations from the world championships:

Semih Erden, who will join the Celtics in a few weeks, looks very comfortable in a very physical game, and certainly seems to have earned enough trust from his teammates that as the game was slipping away they turned the ball over repeatedly trying to get it to him.

You know how that happens sometimes? Everyone on the team seems to be convinced this one guy is the one who can save them? And they overpass to him?

Erden was that guy on this team, which tells me they really think he can play.

If the Celtics really are adding a skilled, tough, scrappy seven-footer, that could matter.

Erden also earns ink in Bill Simmons' latest column on Kevin Durant (and his exploits at the 2010 FIBA World Championships).

Turkey's Semih Erden (the team's center) gets Westbrook on a switch and posts him up for a three-point play. A few days ago, my delighted father e-mailed me to remind me that Boston owns Erden's rights and added, "I like him!!!" That's right, Semih Erden drew three exclamation points. A few plays later, Erden hounds Durant into a dribbling violation. Really, we couldn't have signed this guy over spending $13 million on Jermaine O'Neal's dead body?

Erden surely showed some encouraging signs during the tournament, but still proved to be quite raw. As we noted after the championship game, it will be interesting to gauge the strides he makes in training camp alone as he gets welcomed to Boston by Shaquille O'Neal's sharp elbows.