Boston Celtics: 2014Game61

Crawford's Boston return bittersweet

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge alerted Jordan Crawford in the preseason that, due to Boston's logjam at the shooting guard position, there was a chance he could be moved at some point during the 2013-14 campaign.

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesJordan Crawford enjoyed a laugh with Jared Sullinger before the Warriors routed the Celtics.
So the call in mid-January alerting Crawford that he had been dealt to the Golden State Warriors in a three-team swap didn't come as a complete surprise. What did was how hard it was to leave Boston.

A wistful Crawford reflected fondly on a short-but-sweet 11 months in Boston, particularly the first 75 days of the current season when the Celtics inserted him as starting point guard in the absence of rehabbing Rajon Rondo and watched Crawford flourish in his fourth NBA season.

"I miss [Boston], actually," said Crawford. "I miss it. It was home for a minute. The first time I got to play a lot of minutes. I got to have ups, I had downs, and how you adjust to playing bad, how to get back. So it was a lot of positives.

"That's probably the hardest part of leaving, because it really did feel like home a little bit, even though I was only here for less than a year."

The Celtics acquired Crawford for a scoring burst at the trade deadline in February 2013. He played sparingly on a veteran team that was bounced from the first round of the playoffs and ushered in a rebuilding process, but he bought into a role as more of a facilitating point guard to start the 2013-14 campaign. Crawford averaged 13.7 points, 5.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds over 39 games with Boston, including 35 starts.

Boston moved him to the Warriors as part of a three-team deal that brought back Joel Anthony and future draft picks. With Golden State, Crawford finds himself in another crowded backcourt. Entering Wednesday's game, Crawford was averaging 7.2 points, 1.8 assists and 1.5 rebounds over 16.1 minutes per game in 21 appearances for the Warriors.

He scored 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting over 19:26 during Golden State's 108-88 shellacking of Boston on Wednesday night at TD Garden.

After the game, Celtics coach Brad Stevens -- along with many of his former teammates -- sought out Crawford to wish him luck the rest of the way.

"He can score the ball, there's no question about it," said Stevens. "My hat's off to him, the way he played tonight. I told him after the game, I hope he really finishes strong. I'm a fan. I was a fan, am a fan. It's good to see him have success, but I don't like it when it's against our team. I said this a couple weeks ago after we played MarShon [Brooks] -- you invest in those guys and when they leave you, you wish them to have success."

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Notebook: C's not on same page

March, 5, 2014
Mar 5
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics coach Brad Stevens said his team had one of its best practices of the season on Tuesday. Team captain Rajon Rondo, at least in the aftermath of a lopsided 108-88 loss to the Golden State Warriors, didn't think the practice was that good.

Brian Babineau/NBAE/Getty ImagesRajon Rondo and the Celtics were not on the same page on Wednesday night against the Warriors.
So Rondo's thoughts on Wednesday's loss about summed up the state of the Celtics at the moment.

"We just weren’t on the same page on either end of the floor," said Rondo.

One day after promising to fight hard through the final 22 games of the 2013-14 season, the well-rested Celtics got steamrolled by a Warriors team playing the final game of a six-game road trip and the second night of a back-to-back.

The Celtics looked lethargic at times, particularly as the Warriors utilized a string of first-half turnovers to fuel transition baskets that blew the gate off the game. Late in the first quarter, 35-year-old Jermaine O'Neal, last seen hobbling around TD Garden with two bad knees and one good wrist, stormed the lane and threw down a two-handed dunk. Twenty-two of Golden State's 27 points to that point had come in the paint.

After taking league-leading Indiana to the wire on Saturday, the Celtics rallied around the notion that they won't go quietly this season, that they plan to compete in each of the final 22 games. Well, they're 0-for-1.

So how do they pick themselves up off the mat?

"I can only speak for myself: You’ve got to dig deep and find it within yourself to compete," said Rondo. "In anything I do, I want to win. I think that’s a lot of guys' mentality, but I can only speak for myself."

That's something that Stevens and Rondo are most definitely on the same page about.

"I kinda kick myself, to be honest, because I’ve said three times this year that, 'We had a really good practice yesterday' and we did," said Stevens. "But for whatever reason we follow it up with a clunker. That’s what we did today. I see nothing but recognition that we didn’t play well, with pride that we will play better and the expectation that we are going to come to work and do better. And that’s the expectation, period. I’ve heard people say our record is what it is and that you’re playing for pride. That’s a lot. To me, that’s a lot. It’s important that we show ourselves a lot different than we did today."

Wednesday's loss left a sour taste in the team's mouth.

"It's our pride," said Green. "We don't want to keep embarrassing ourselves and that is the mentality we are going to have. I don't think this group wants to continue to have games like this. We just have to keep fighting."

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BOSTON -- Rapid reaction after the Golden State Warriors defeated the Boston Celtics 108-88 on Wednesday night at TD Garden:

One day after promising they wouldn't relent over the final 22 games of the 2013-14 season, the Celtics came out lifeless following a three-day break and got absolutely throttled by a Golden State team playing the final night of a six-game road trip and the tail end of a back-to-back. Klay Thompson missed seven 3-pointers, but hit just about everything inside the arc while putting up a team-high 18 points. David Lee matched that output and added 10 rebounds. Old friend Jordan Crawford scored 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench for the Warriors. After missing two games with a sprained toe, rookie Kelly Olynyk returned to score a team-high 19 points for Boston. Rajon Rondo finished with 14 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds and 7 turnovers over 37 minutes. The Celtics turned the ball over a head-shaking 22 times, leading to 24 points.

The Warriors scored 12 of the game's first 14 points, building a double-digit lead little more than five minutes in and that's about as close as it got. The Celtics were down eight going to the second frame, but Golden State scored the first seven points of the quarter. An Andre Iguodala triple sent the Warriors into intermission up 21 and the lead went as high as 31 in the second half.


2Pac Lookalike at Garden

With the Celtics down 30 in the third quarter, a Tupac Shakur lookalike who's been at the Garden in the past was shown on the JumboTron and fans started a loud, "Let's Go Tupac!" chant. When the quarter ended, he was shown again with Tupac's "California Love" blaring and the audience again roared. The fans kept themselves entertained further by starting "Scal-a-brine!" chants with former fan favorite Brian Scalabrine, now an assistant coach for the Warriors, in the house.

The Celtics shot 39.5 percent (30 of 76), while the Warriors were at 46.9 percent (46 of 98). ... The Warriors owned a 58-32 advantage in points in the paint and a 25-11 edge in fastbreak points. ... The Warriors led from start to finish. ... All 11 available players saw court time for Boston. ... Chris Babb, playing on a 10-day contract, scored his first NBA points. He finished with five points and five rebounds over 23:41.

The Celtics (20-41) have lost seven of their last eight and still own the fourth worst record in basketball. Two games remain on this five-game homestand with visits from Brooklyn (Friday) and Detroit (Monday).

Pregame: Olynyk returns vs. Warriors

March, 5, 2014
Mar 5
BOSTON -- Boston Celtics rookie Kelly Olynyk is available for Wednesday's visit from the Golden State Warriors after missing the last two games with a sprained big toe on his left foot.

Olynyk suffered -- and further aggravated -- the toe injury on the team's four-game West Coast trip after the All-Star break. The team initially feared the toe was broken, but breathed a sigh of relief to find out it was a sprain. Olynyk spent last week in a walking boot and returned to practice Tuesday.

"He went through practice [Tuesday] -- we practiced hard -- and he was reevaluated [Wednesday] morning and everything was great," Celtics coach Brad Stevens said. "I got the thumbs up and, after I get the thumbs up, I’m not asking many questions."

With Olynyk back, the injury-plagued Celtics have 11 available bodies.

The Celtics will stick with their recent starting five of Rajon Rondo, Jerryd Bayless, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Kris Humphries. Both Olynyk and Jared Sullinger, who returned Saturday from a concussion, will come off the bench.

Starting shooting guard Avery Bradley, who has missed 14 of the team's past 17 games, received an MRI on his right ankle on Wednesday as part of a reevaluation, but declined to chat with reporters before the game. Stevens said he had no further update on Bradley's condition, but had noted Tuesday that Bradley expressed to him that he was feeling better and progressing toward a return.

Jordan Crawford is back in Boston for the first time since being traded to the Warriors in January as part of a three-team swap.

Reflecting on his time here, Crawford noted, "It was home for a minute. The first time I got to play a lot of minutes. I got to have ups, I had downs, and how you adjust to playing bad, how to get back. So it was a lot of positives."

Asked if this was the first stop on his NBA journey where a team showed belief in him, Crawford said, "Yeah, that’s probably the hardest part of leaving because it really did feel like home a little bit, even though I was only here for less than a year."


The Boston Celtics (20-40, 12-18 home) host the Golden State Warriors (37-24, 19-14 away) on Wednesday night at TD Garden (7:30 p.m., CSN). Here's what to watch for:

  • RETURN OF STEEZ: Jordan Crawford, dealt to the Warriors in mid-January, returns to Boston for the first time since the three-team swap that brought Joel Anthony and some draft picks to the Celtics. What did Crawford bring during his time in Boston? "I think his intensity," said former teammate Jared Sullinger. "He was intense every game. He made plays for us. When we needed something big, someway, somehow -- if it was a layup, a jumper, or a crazy assist, he always made it. I just think he was big time for this team, to get us where we’re at and for us to go forward." Since joining the Warriors, Crawford has averaged 7.2 points and 1.9 assists over 16.6 minutes per game in 20 appearances (down from the 13.7 points, 5.7 assists he averaged over 30.7 minutes per contest in 39 games with Boston).

  • REST VS. WEARY?: The Warriors will be wrapping up a six-game road trip on the tail end of a back-to-back after topping the league-leading Pacers on Tuesday night. How will that affect the visitors? "I don’t know that you ever know on a given night what’s an advantage and what’s not," said Celtics coach Brad Stevens. "Sometimes you’re riding the adrenaline of the trip, sometimes you have your games where you didn’t play as well earlier in the trip and you play great at the end. I don’t know that that stuff is predictable. I think the biggest thing is that they are a good basketball team who added to themselves and got better. Steve Blake and Jordan, when you look at those two guys, both playing guard minutes off the bench, and their ability to score. When we first played them, their ability to score off the bench wasn’t what it is now. ... But now you add two guys who are capable of going for 25 each in Blake and Crawford. And you’ve got a team that can really score the basketball -- [the Warriors are] 11 deep with the way that Jermaine O’Neal is playing as well." The Warriors are an NBA-best 13-5 on the road since Dec. 23.

  • LOOSE BALLS: This is the second and final meeting of the season. The Warriors posted a 99-97 triumph in January with Steph Curry hitting the winning jumper with 2.1 seconds to play. ... After missing the last two games with a sprained toe, the Celtics are hoping to have rookie Kelly Olynyk available. He went through practice Tuesday and was going to be reevaluated on Wednesday morning.

(Read full game preview)

One other thing to watch today: The Celtics will welcome 12-year-old Louis Corbett, the New Zealand native with a rare genetic eye disease that the team helped bring to Boston to watch a game at TD Garden. It is Perkins School for the Blind Night and children from the Watertown school will sing the national anthem. Corbett arrived in Boston on Monday night and was scheduled to tour Fenway Park before meeting with Celtics players and staff before Wednesday's game. Before he loses his vision, Corbett is on a "bucket list" trip. Jump HERE to see video of him arriving in Boston on Monday night.




Jeff Green
18.7 1.6 0.9 33.7
ReboundsJ. Sullinger 7.9
AssistsJ. Nelson 7.0
StealsJ. Nelson 2.5
BlocksK. Olynyk 0.8