Jae Crowder

What's causing Celtics' struggles? Jae Crowder reveals what he thinks

What's causing Celtics' struggles? Jae Crowder reveals what he thinks

Something is missing with the Boston Celtics this season, and one of their former players thinks he knows what that is.

The Utah Jazz beat the C's at TD Garden on Saturday night to sweep the season series. Former Celtics and current Jazz forward Jae Crowder talked to reporters after his team's win, and revealed what he thinks Boston is lacking over the first month of the 2018-19 campaign.

“When you’ve got so many guys that can score the ball, you really don’t want to get down and defend,” Crowder said, per the Boston Herald's Steve Bulpett. “You really don’t want to get down and dive for balls. You really don’t want to fight through screens every play. But championship teams do that. Look at the Warriors. They have guys that can do that. They have guys that want to do that. They understand their roles, and they do it at a high level.”

Crowder remains bullish on the Celtics' chances, though.

“They’ve got a lot of pieces,” Crowder said, per Bulpett. “They’ve got a lot of pieces that have to gel together. That’s not going to happen overnight. It’s very do-able. I mean, the Celtics are a tough team. And when you’ve got Brad leading the way, I feel like anything is possible for them.”

Crowder isn't necessarily wrong about the hustle and grit, and Celtics head coach Brad Stevens did say after the Jazz loss his team needed to be tougher mentally. But the C's have been a very good defensive team this season. They lead the league in defensive rating and even over their recent stretch of five losses in the last eight games, they still rank seventh in defensive rating. 

It's going to take time for the Celtics to gel at both ends of the court, as Crowder noted. Adding two All-Stars in Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward to the fold isn't easy, and the ripple effect their addition to the lineup has on the other players, most notably Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, also is an adjustment.

There's plenty of time for the C's fix the issues ailing them. They just need to avoid frustration and stick with the process. There's too much talent on the roster and coaching staff for Boston's fortunes not to turn around soon. 

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Jae Crowder calls Daniel Theis 'Slim Shady'

Jae Crowder calls Daniel Theis 'Slim Shady'

Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

During Saturday night's Celtics-Jazz matchup, Jae Crowder roasted Daniel Theis for his new hairstyle. After Theis missed a free throw in the first quarter, you could hear the ex-Celtic say, "Oh yeah, Slim Shady" to the Eminem lookalike.

Theis is likely to hear that kind of razzing for as long as he keeps the blonde look. Actually, in true Slim Shady (or B-Rabbit in 8 Mile) fashion, he has already made the joke about himself.

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Stars, Studs and Duds: Celtics can't cool off hot Jazz shooters

Stars, Studs and Duds: Celtics can't cool off hot Jazz shooters

SALT LAKE CITY – The Celtics road woes continued with a 123-115 loss at Utah.

Boston (7-5) has dropped three of its past four – all on the road – to secure a losing record for this five-game road trip which ends in Portland on Sunday.

And like most of the previous losses, Boston’s defense has been ineffective for long stretches that ultimately played a pivotal role in the defeat.

Utah came in as one of the top shooting teams in the NBA and they showed why by connecting on 55.8 percent of their shots from the field.

Here are the Stars, Studs and Duds from Friday night.

STARS
Joe Ingles

The sharpshooting big man was in full-blown splash mode against the Celtics, doing most of his damage in the first half. He would finish with a team-high 27 points, 20 of which came in the first two quarters of play. He also dished out seven assists and grabbed five rebounds.

Terry Rozier
He was filling in for Kyrie Irving (who missed the game for personal reasons) and while he didn’t quite deliver a Kyrie-like game, Rozier was one of the better performers for Boston. For the game, he had a team-high 22 points on 7-for-13 shooting along with six rebounds and three assists without a turnover.

Donovan Mitchell
He found his groove scoring the ball in the third quarter, playing a pivotal role in Utah getting the victory. He would tally 21 points, including a number of baskets in iso situations where he attacked Gordon Hayward off the dribble. He also had five assists.

STUDS
Jayson Tatum
Less than 24 hours after one of his worst shooting nights as a pro, Tatum was indeed more efficient Friday night. He finished with 21 points on 7-for-14 shooting to go with four assists and three rebounds.

Rudy Gobert
The Celtics haven’t been good at getting points in the paint this season and having to contend with 7-foot-1 Gobert didn’t help. Not only does he defend at a high level, but he also hurt the Celtics with a series of lob dunks before finishing with a double-double of 17 points and 15 rebounds.

Marcus Morris
He continues to deliver the goods off the bench, delivering one big shot after another in the second half before finishing with 16 points on 5-for-11 shooting to go with five rebounds.

Ricky Rubio
He was a key to the good shooting night by the Jazz, scoring 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field to go with seven assists and six rebounds.

Jae Crowder
The trend of Crowder coming up big against former teams continues. The former Celtic had 20 points off the bench on 8-for-15 shooting while knocking down four of his nine 3-point attempts. 

DUDS
Celtics defense
For too many stretches, they allowed the Utah shooters to get too comfortable whether it was raising up for a 3-pointer or finishing at the rim. They were better in the fourth quarter but again, they allowed the Jazz to get into a rhythm that they were able to maintain for most of the game.

Brad Stevens
The Celtics aren’t executing as well as they should and while the players certainly deserve their share of the blame for that, some of that should also fall upon the shoulders of the coach. He has shown himself to be one of the best at getting the most out of whatever he has been given to work with. And while the Celtics certainly have a difficult schedule out of the gate, they’re simply not getting it done in crunch time. In the past, that's often when Stevens and his Xs and O’s tended to shine brightly. He’s still one of the best coaches out there, just like the team he coaches has lots of really good players. But lately, neither has delivered the kind of performances Celtics fans have come to expect.

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