Crowder (ankle) has no set date for return, 'not going to rush it'

Crowder (ankle) has no set date for return, 'not going to rush it'

BOSTON – Jae Crowder is in a much better place now both physically and emotionally, after suffering yet another ankle sprain injury. 

But unlike the one he suffered last spring, Crowder said he isn’t going to push himself to come back ahead of schedule.

“As of now, we’re still looking at a week or two (for a return),” he said. “I don’t have a set date. I haven’t talked to Ed (Lacerte, the team’s head trainer) about a set date but I’m not going to rush it. I want to be out there so bad, but I want to get my health to as close to 100 percent as possible.”


That wasn’t necessarily the plan last spring after he suffered a high ankle sprain and a bone bruise that forced him to miss nine games. But even when he returned, it was clear that he wasn’t the same player. 

“I’m moving at a good pace right now,” Crowder said. “Working eight hours a day on this thing. I’m doing what I have to do to get back on the court as soon as possible. I’m not going to rush it like I did last year due to the end of the season, playoffs, trying to get a rhythm. I’m just going to do what I have to do and take care of my business.”

Since then, Crowder has made a few changes in terms of precautionary measures to help ensure or lessen the likelihood of an ankle injury. 

“I switched shoes from last year,” Crowder said. “I wore low-tops. I don’t wear low-tops anymore. I think that helped a lot. I tape pretty heavily.”

As for the most recent incident that led to him spraining his ankle, “It’s unfortunate. I came down on his (Rajon Rondo) foot; freak accident.” 

But if there’s one positive he can take away from his current ankle injury, it’s the timing of it.

“I would rather it happen now than the time it happened last year,” Crowder said. “But I know exactly what happened, when it happened; I rolled it. I knew I was out.

Crowder added, “Frustrated but I’m encouraged, I’m in good spirits now. So that’s where we’re at.”

Without Crowder, the Celtics have had to play without their most versatile frontcourt defender who is a key figure in their small-ball lineups with his ability to play the power forward position. 

His absence is among the many reasons why the Celtics defense, a year ago among the best in the NBA, is now ranked among the league’s worst. 

Even when Crowder returns, that’s not going to necessarily fix what ails this Celtics defense. 

“Obviously we’ve got some guys that aren’t playing that will play,” said Celtics head coach Brad Stevens. “But this is about physically holding your ground."

Crowder has appeared in four games (all starts) this season, averaging 13.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.25 steals per game while shooting a career-best 55.6 percent from the field and 47.4 percent from 3-point range which is also a career-high.

Celtics have shown a knack for the comeback this year

AP Photo

Celtics have shown a knack for the comeback this year

BOSTON -- As I made my way towards the Boston Celtics locker room following their 100-99 win over Oklahoma City on Tuesday night, I walked past co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, who, as you might expect, was pleased with what he had just witnessed.
“That was a good one,” he said.
That’s one way to describe it.


But explaining the Houdini-like way the Celtics seem to get out of some serious jams over and over again, and against really good teams, is indeed a head-scratcher for most.
It’s getting to the point where we’re running out of fresh adjectives to describe this team, which has a knack for the comeback.
“Improbable” doesn’t do justice to how Boston’s hit-the-lottery luck has played out so often on nights when it seemed on the doorstep of defeat.
And this town loves a good comeback story, whether it’s Tom Brady leading the Patriots to a Super Bowl win after being down by 25 points, or the Celtics spotting the NBA champ Golden State Warriors a 17-point cushion before rallying for a meaningful November win -- a rarity in the NBA.
But the obscure and unexpected have become standard in this seemingly alternate basketball universe that the Celtics play in, one that we have been bearing witness to all season.

I mean, look at their body of work:

DECEMBER 18: Down by one on the road at Indiana in the closing seconds of play in what appears to be a tough road loss, Terry Rozier steals and races down the floor looking like Deion Sanders in high-tops, for a game-winning dunk.

DECEMBER 28: Trailing the Houston Rockets by 26 points in the third quarter, they rally back and steal the win with not one, but two offensive fouls drawn in the last minute by Marcus Smart against perennial league MVP candidate James Harden.

JANUARY 11: In London, they erased a 22-point deficit and defeated Philly.

FEBRUARY 4: There was a buzzer-beater by Al Horford to beat Portland on Super Bowl Sunday.

And . . . well, you get the idea.

Boston has six wins by a single point this season, which is tied with Miami for the season lead and is one shy of tying the franchise record for one-point wins in a season. 

In addition, Boston has won 10 games this season in which it fell behind by 12 or more points. 
Winning so many games under less-than-ideal circumstances has not only padded the Celtics' win total, but also reinforced this team with a Teflon-strong mindset. They believe they're tthe ultimate practitioner of basketball necromancy, consistently finding a way to rise up from the basketball graveyard of defeat and win in dramatic fashion.

Like they did Tuesday night against the Thunder.

How can you bank on Carmelo Anthony, a career 81.2 percent free-throw shooter, missing a pair with less than nine seconds to play?
Or botching the play Brad Stevens drew up at the end of the game -- "We kind of messed [it] up," said Jayson Tatum -- but, rather than it leading to a turnover, instead becoming a game-winning 3-pointer by Marcus Morris with 1.8 seconds to spare? 


 It was another crazy ending in what has been a season filled with bizarre finishes, jaw-dropping rallies and a never-say-it’s-over brand of basketball that has kept Celtics fans on the edge of their seats all season.
“It’s great to be in a situation where you’re down six with under a minute to play or whatever it was, and you find a way to win the game,” said Stevens. “That’s going to be pretty unique, but they just kept playing the next possession and we were fortunate that that shot went down. That was a heck of a shot by Marcus."
A heck of a shot?
But in this bizarro world of Celtics basketball this season, it was predictable as the Thunder became yet another team to play Boston and leave wondering the same thing most Celtics fans do … “Did THAT just happen?


Kevin Garnett predicts Marcus Morris' game-winner right before it happens

Kevin Garnett predicts Marcus Morris' game-winner right before it happens

Kevin Garnett was paying close attention to Tuesday night's thriller between the Celtics and Thunder.

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On KG's Area 21, the former Celtics great watched as Boston rallied in the game's final minute to make a stunning comeback. Right before Marcus Morris drilled the game-winner, Garnett called it by saying, "The Morris twin will end up shooting this or something because he like 'yeah I'm about the moment'"

Not a bad call. Morris certainly was "about the moment" Tuesday night as he has been multiple times this season.