For as long as Jae Crowder has been a Boston Celtic, it seems there has been a movement to find someone better.
Boston unsuccessfully went after Kevin Durant this summer; heck, they even had Crowder in on the recruiting trip to land him.
And then there was talk about targeting Chicago’s Jimmy Butler (a college teammate of his at Marquette) as well as rumors about Boston potentially making a run at Utah’s Gordon Hayward who is expected to hit the free agent market this summer.
- Highlights: Boston Celtics 112, Milwaukee Bucks 108 (OT)
- Bucks defensive changes don't prevent Thomas from making offensive impact
- Celtics make big plays down stretch to edge Bucks in overtime, 112-108
He hears it all, and has made no secret about it bothering him.
There’s only one way to quiet that talk, and that’s to play and play well – something he has done quite a bit of lately.
Several players stepped up in Boston’s 112-108 overtime win against the Milwaukee Bucks, but the play of Crowder truly stood out.
He had 20 points which included the last four for Boston – all from the free throw line – which proved to be the difference.
In his last nine games, Crowder has averaged 18.8 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.4 assists while shooting 52.8 percent from the field and 45.3 percent from 3-point range.
Crowder’s scoring combined with his defense (he got some help, I know) against Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo was crucial to Boston emerging with what was their third straight win.
Here’s a look at the Stars, Studs and Duds from Saturday night’s game.
The former Big East player of the Year was back on familiar soil at the Bradley Center, and man did he look at home. He finished with 20 points
The usual fourth quarter heroics weren’t there tonight (he got some help from Jae Crowder and company), but that didn’t stop him from having yet another monster game. He led all scorers with 37 points and eight assists.
The Greek Freak got off to a slow start, but got better as the game progressed. He finished with a team-high 21 points along with six rebounds, six assists and a blocked shot.
Milwaukee’s comeback, particularly down the stretch, was fueled by Monroe absolutely abusing Kelly Olynyk in the post. He had 14 points off the bench, 10 of which came in the fourth quarter.
He scored 11 points on 5-for-7 shooting does qualify as a big night scoring. But more than the scoring, he came up with huge plays defensively like drawing a charge as well as providing great help-side defense that forced a miss in the closing seconds. He also grabbed seven rebounds and two assists.
He struggled defensively against Monroe, but Olynyk did a lot of good things most of the game at both ends of the floor. Along with 17 points off the bench, Olynyk also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
You can rest assured that Parker won’t have too many games like this. At no point did Parker ever seem in rhythm offensively which is where he tends to make the greatest impact when he’s on the floor. Parker scored just four points while missing 11 of his 13 shots from the field.