By: Rob Botts
Teams from all over the National Basketball Association have been getting cup after cup of the Boston Celtics favorite dish whether they order it or not so far this season. These other squads have been force fed this incredibly hearty, filling and savory meal whenever the schedule has called for the Celtics being involved in an NBA contest. What is this dish I speak of? New England Slam Crowder obviously.
The main ingredient? That would be Dallas Maverick small forward cast off and current Boston Celtic Jae Crowder. Mr. Crowder has been an absolute steal from Mark Cuban’s team. Did anybody on the green team realize that Jae would turn out to be such a solid NBA starter for the team? General Manager Danny Ainge might pull out an Auerbach(that’s what a cigar is called in bean town) and remark that he knew the whole time what Crowder was going to do once he slipped on the Shamrock’s finest, but he would be telling one very large tale. It’s what the experts call, luck. It’s a technical term.
Jae Crowder does however fit perfectly into coach Brad Stevens team mold of toughness and a defense first mentality. He is able to defend the perimeter and the post against players of varying size and skill level. He also sees the floor extremely well and seems to always make the right pass to an open teammate. He also has improved his stroke to the point where an observer of the game would say he has a decent shot. Crowder also knows how to be the emotional rock of his team. He is their steady, consistent hand that guides them without even having the ball in his hands. Whether the game is close or a garbage time affair, he keeps the boys on the floor and on the bench dialed in and focused on the task at hand.
Jae is having his best season as a pro. He is averaging 13 points and around 6 boards a game and is shooting over 40% from the field. His free throw % has gone from the 70s into the mid 80s as well. He even is knocking down shots from behind the three point arc at a 35% clip. Most of all though he has had another year under coach Stevens system which has allowed him to take it all in and understand how to keep it running as effectively as possible. Crowder is the kind of player that you can plug into almost any position on the floor and feel completely comfortable that he will produce. Point guard Isaiah Thomas may run the offense but it is Crowder who is running the blood through the veins of this Boston Celtic team.
Mr. Crowder has also become “one of the guys” according to the fans who fill the TD Garden. He is a blue collar player who grabs the good old lunch pale and hard hat every time he punches in. It’s an east coast and in particular bean town thing. Every time Jae dives for a loose ball or takes a charge from an opponent head on, it fires up the building. Whether he pumps his fist into the air after a defensive stop or snaps down a defensive board, the fans cheer even louder. And most importantly when he scores or assists on a scoring play by a teammate, the Garden pumps to life immediately. Their is a certain juice to the building whenever Crowder does anything on the floor to Celtic fans.
Jae Crowder is the MVP of this Boston Celtic squad so far this season. You know it. I know it. The teams that face him know it. And Danny Ainge will tell you he knew it long before anybody else did.
Sounds good Danny. Now pass the Crowder if you please.