Celtics

Celtics

BOSTON -- Less than 24 hours after venting at fans for cheering on an opponent, Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder is apparently remorseful for the incident.
 
Celtics coach Brad Stevens, speaking to Zolak & Bertrand on 98.5 the Sports Hub Wednesday, addressed the comments made by Crowder to reporters after the game as well as via social media.
 
“I was somewhat surprised to read what he said and tweeted,” Stevens said. “I told him that this morning because, every day that he comes in, you can tell that he’s thankful to be a Celtic and every time we have that talk about how you represent Boston as an athlete and how tough you have to be to be well-liked here, I always thought Jae represented the best of that.”
 
Stevens revealed more about his talk with Crowder this morning.
 
“The first thing he said was, obviously, he wished he didn’t express himself like that,” Stevens said. “But we talk all the time about embracing the expectations of being an athlete here in Boston because I do think this city is such a tremendous sports town and offers our guys such an opportunity to grow and feel those banners above us, feel the expectations of being a team-first player then playing as hard as you can.
 
Stevens added, “A lot of our guys have embraced that. I don’t know that anybody has embraced it as much as Jae over the last few years.”
 
While that may be true, there’s no denying that there are some fences that need to be mended in what seemed such a strong player-fan relationship.
 
Crowder, a second round pick coming out of Marquette, was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks and traded to Boston as part of the Rajon Rondo deal in 2014.
 
Of the players involved in the deal outside of Rondo, Crowder was the least heralded of the bunch.
 
But in the months since the deal, Crowder has distinguished himself as a blue-collar talent whose game has continued to grow and expand before our very eyes.
 
After averaging a career-high 14.2 points last season, his scoring has taken a slight dip (13.3 points) this season but he has clearly become a more efficient scorer who on most nights is the Celtics’ fourth option offensively behind Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Al Horford.
 
He’s shooting a career-high 48.8 percent from the field and 43.0 percent on 3-pointers along with 87.9 percent from the free throw line.
 
And on Tuesday, Crowder used what he felt was a slight by fans who were cheering for Gordon Hayward, to deliver in the areas that matter most – making impact plays and winning the game.
 
Hayward had 23 points, but most of them that had very little impact on the game’s outcome. Meanwhile, Crowder had 21 points which included 5-for-6 from 3-point range. Crowder’s scoring including a 3-pointer in the third quarter that capped off a 10-1 Celtics run which put Boston ahead 83-66 against the Jazz.