Your Morning Dump… Where Crowder flexes and Stevens tinkers | Red's Army - The Voice of Boston Celtics Fans
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Your Morning Dump… Where Crowder flexes and Stevens tinkers

jc

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big story line. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

“I just wanted to get to the finish line,” Jae Crowder said only minutes after flashing his muscles to celebrate a clutch hoop. Scoring early and late, the rapidly-improving forward built a career high of 25 points with a steady focus on getting to the rim. The last strong take of his night just about put the Nets away.

“They were so close, and they made a run late,” Crowder said after the 103-94 victory. “Emotions took over at that point.”

Emotions had been very different this weekend, when the Celtics fell to the same Nets. After that game, head coach Brad Stevens vowed to “reassess” his coaching habits. He did make a few changes for Monday. One was a necessity: replacing the injured Avery Bradley in the starting lineup. Evan Turner got the nod. Another was a call for more offense: inserting Kelly Olynyk into Jared Sullinger’s old place with the first unit. A third was just as interesting as the others: shortening the rotation and handing David Lee his first DNP-CD.

Mass Live

This team needs Jae Crowder’s physicality and emotion as much as it needs his production. We’re going to see a lot of more flexing if he continues to play this well. Jae is averaging 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals over his last 5. Free throw attempts – another indicator of his aggressive play  – are up to 5.4 per game over this stretch. Maintaining those FTA would put Crowder in the top 20.

As for Stevens, he had to something to shake up this team and avoid a catastrophic 3rd straight loss. Rumor has it one irrational fan was going to launch the #FireBrad hashtag on Twitter last night if the Celtics didn’t beat Brooklyn.

With Evan Turner and his 15% 3FG starting for the injured Avery Bradley, it made sense to replace the struggling Jared Sullinger with Kelly Olynyk. FWIW – Olynyk’s averaging 7 ppg on 42% shooting since a certain person deemed him untouchable a week ago. The move paid huge dividends as the Celtics scored 37 points in the 1st quarter and that first unit finished with a 134 offensive rating.

I don’t think there’s some magical combination that’s going to make the Celtics a top 10 offensive team. They’re just not that good. Stevens will continue to tinker with the rotation until he finds a group that can push his team into the middle of the pack statistically.

On Page 2, IT has all-star buzz but not the votes.

“In the games, like we play against somebody and they’ll be like, ‘Man, I hope you make the All-Star team. You’ve been balling,’ ” Thomas said on Monday. “It’s nice to get the recognition and for your peers to see it, so hopefully it happens.”

Entering Monday’s 103-94 win over the Nets, Thomas was averaging 20.9 points, 6.8 assists, and 2.9 rebounds per game while shooting 90.2 percent from the free throw line. Steph Curry is the only player in NBA history to finish a season with statistics at or above Thomas’s current levels to be left off an All-Star team that year, as he was in 2012-13.

And even when you remove Thomas’s sparkling free throw percentage from the equation, just eight players failed to make All-Star teams after playing an entire season and finishing with scoring, rebounding, and assist averages that are as good as Thomas’s.

Globe

IT currently sits 9th in All-Star voting for guards. How dire is the situation? He’s behind Jeremy Lin.

Get to work people. Vote here or drop this into your Twitter feed: #NBAVote Isaiah Thomas

The rest of the links

Herald – Benchmark work by Sullinger | CSNNE – Crowder rises to occasion | Points in paint key to win over Nets |

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  • NE_Celt

    IT is behind Lin…wtf people…that is unacceptable…a player riding off his high a few years back is beating out IT who is putting up TRUE all-star numbers. Something that could help IT out is putting on one hell of show against the Bulls on Thursday on national TV!

    • Curt Hays

      Wow, Thomas is a noticeably more valuable player than Lin…on offense anyway.

      http://bkref.com/tiny/0QGnv

      • NE_Celt

        Yep, that comparison further prooves Lins votes are all hype from his Linsanity tour.

        IT is a little lacking on the block department…but I guess we can let that stat slide haha

        • Curt Hays

          It is certainly more of a liability on D, but there’s no question that he adds to this team.

          Lin’s popularity is probably a product of his support from the other side of the Pacific Ocean. That’s okay with me though. The All Star game is just a popularity contest that provides one more chance for an injury, so I’m happy for our guys to rest.

          • NE_Celt

            I think as the season has gone on his D has improved a little, and I think the rest of the team is learning how to accommodate for his lack of size a little better then earlier in the season.

            Very true…nothing wrong with that. Yea, its a big flashy show now a days where the actual All Star game really isn’t even the high point for most people. And the dunk contest awards winners based on their outfits or props vs. their raw, pure bball skills.

          • Curt Hays

            And the size of their choir.

          • forever_green

            I tell ya, it’s always been a tough crowd in here.

    • thezzz

      if IT was asian he would definetly get to the ASG with a great vote score. I hope Thomas get to the ASG but if not, screw it. It is not an event for the best players anymore, it’s been the event for the most popular players since Yao.

  • CelticsBIG3

    THANK YOU BRAD. He finally left the turd on the bench where he belongs last night.

  • Sean

    This team is screwed.

    • MJ

      Then root for someone else.

      • Sean

        Somebodies in denial

        • MJ

          Somebodies a miserable troll.

          • Sean

            Keep sippin that kool aid

          • MJ

            You do understand I was giving you advice more than I was disagreeing with you because its apparent you don’t like where the Celtics are headed, right? Because since you think they are screwed, the logical thing to do is to watch some other team who isn’t “screwed”. Because there seriously is no point to bitching and being a Debbie Downer.

            My advice has no reflection on how I feel about this team at all.

          • Sean

            I’d like the Celtics to not be screwed this year but this team right now is screwed. If you’re a fan that can’t be realistic that’s your problem not mine.

          • MJ

            So, that goes back to what I was saying. Go root for someone else if you think that way rather than complain. It’s like complaining about a girlfriend who makes you miserable. There’s no point in staying with her so go for someone else.

            Also, you’re not being realistic. You’re being pessimistic. Big difference. Because unless you can tell the future, you can’t honestly tell me you know what’s going to happen. You may have an idea, but that is all speculation and not factual.

            Again, I have not said anything about this team, and whether or not I disagree with you does not make you or me anymore right. And you’re the one that clearly has the problem because you’re the one that’s complaining.

          • Sean

            If you love something/someone you don’t just drop it because it sucks at the moment. That doesn’t mean you act like it doesn’t suck.

            Why would I need to know the future? The past repeats itself and this team has done just that. Been pretty consistent since the Pierce/KG trade.

            There’s nothing wrong about complaining when something isn’t going right. Like I said before, if you want to live life through shitty situations and not call it like it is/live in a fairyland, that’s your prerogative.

          • MJ

            So that means being condescending to people who might disagree with you? Sounds classy to me.

            The past has repeated itself? Really? Last time I checked this team is above .500 unlike the past two years at this time where the Celtics have been well under .500 at this time and were looking at a bottom record in the league. Where did you get that from? I’m confused.

            But what does complaining get you other than the label that you’re a whiner? Nothing. The better alternative is to do something about it rather than just sit there and whine. And that doesn’t make it look any less like you have a problem.

            More importantly, that’s all your opinion that this is a shitty situation. That doesn’t make it factual. That just makes it your viewpoint. I apologize that you aren’t happy with how things have turned out, but that’s not my fault and that’s your prerogative.

          • Sean

            If you disagree with me then you’re in denial. I don’t know if you actually watch games or not, so I’ll break it down for you. This is a team slightly over .500 that has lost to some very bad teams. You can sugarcoat it all you want, the fact is the Celtics are a middling team in the weaker conference. That’s not something you should cheer for or be complacent with.

            The only person labeling me a whiner is you. I left a comment in a comment section and you commented on it. Sue me. Like you said, it’s my opinion, so I don’t know why you’re getting so emotional about it. Maybe it’s because my opinion doesn’t mesh with your delusion. Oh well.

            Finally, what do you want me to do about it? Write a letter? Go tryout for the team myself? I didn’t realize you were such a basketball genius! I apologize that you are still somehow happy with things have turned out, maybe you just have low expectations in life, but that’s not my fault either.

          • MJ

            Again condescension at its finest. If I disagree with you I’m in “denial”. If my opinion doesn’t agree with yours, I’m delusional. That’s pretty arrogant. Talk about talking down to someone else. i’m sorry to say this but you’re not better than me, and in no way am I trying to come off like I’m better than you either. You are also a huge hypocrite. You mockingly ask if I’m a basketball genius and yet you’re the one coming off like you know something I don’t. Based off of what? We watch the same games but clearly have different opinions. That does not make me or you better than the other.

            You know why no one else has responded to you? Because no one wants to associate with the unhappy camper. Hell, when I responded to you I wasn’t agreeing or disagreeing with you. I was just giving you advice because you clearly are not happy. I apologize for my emotions. Its just when people try to come off like they are one step ahead of me with no facts and just their own opinion, that ruffles my feathers, but then again I’m not the one that’s crying.

            How does being an over .500 team mean the past is repeating itself? The Celtics were one of the worst teams in the league up until the acquisition of IT and now they are a playoff team with a good future. That makes absolutely not sense. Do I want them to stay like this? Of course not, but I believe things will get better from here. Not right away, but to me, the future is looking bright. Not to mention, good teams lose to bad teams once in a while. It’s really not that uncommon.

            What do I want you to do about it? Oh it’s pretty simple. Quit crying, lighten up, or go root for another team, but I can clearly tell you don’t listen to others. so, if you want to go cry into your pillow, be my guest, but forgive me if I, like everyone else, don’t join you.

          • Sean

            You responded to me because you disagreed with me. I don’t need to lighten up. I’m fine. This team isn’t. Just because I say it bluntly and you don’t agree or like it doesn’t mean I’m upset and/or it’s not true. Is it annoying? Sure. Honestly, it’s more annoying to have to explain simple stuff to some brainwashed homer online all day. It’s pretty obvious to anyone who has actually watched the team play this year.

            Why would I jump ship? Has this team not sucked before? Will it not suck again one day after a good run in the future? It’s inevitable in sports, that’s a fact. Good teams lose to bad teams once in a while, this one has dropped shit games repeatedly this season. And if anybody is crying it’s you. I left a one sentence comment and you’ve been ranting for a page and a half about how it made you feel. Poor you.

          • MJ

            I responded to you to give you advice. Not to disagree, which shows again that you’re clearly not listening especially since I said that like 3 or 4 times. I could go on but I’m done. Have fun in your pessimistic world.

          • Sean

            I didn’t say you responded to me to disagree, I said you responded because you disagree. Also, we’re communicating on a message board, so nobody is listening. It’s called reading. I’m starting to wonder how good you are at that. Since you’re the King of Advice, here’s some advice for you: Go play somewhere else.

          • MJ

            I responded because I saw you express your displeasure over the team and told you how you can fix that because negativity does nothing in my experience other than bring bad feelings that don’t get resolved. Regardless of whether or not I disagreed with you. I fully recognize this team has had its struggles and I know their plan isn’t perfect and I even see your point. Even if I questioned some of your points, I haven’t even said flat out that you are wrong. But I’m staying optimistic. So sue me for differing from your viewpoint. Believe it or not, some people disagree with your expertise.

            Let’s just go our separate ways. Sound good?

          • Sean

            Sure, tell ya what if this team gets its stuff together I’ll admit I was wrong. I think all we both really want is some W’s.

          • MJ

            Dude are you kidding? After tonight, I’m starting to take back everything I said. Everything you pointed out looked on point tonight with how the Celtics have looked. If anything I want to thank you for not throwing it in my face for the Celtics not backing me up at all.

            By the way, apologies if I came off as aggressive. My friend died in a car accident this weekend so I’ve been an emotional wreck the past few days.

          • Sean

            Now I feel bad. I’m sorry for your loss. I was just being a asshole b/c I was frustrated, if I would’ve known better I would’ve done better.

            But games like that are whats really the cause of all this lol. It’s what had me so frustrated, between losing games, having ET & Sully still on this team, and Brooklyn winning its been killing me. Also, since most big trade targets are guys most of us C’s fans don’t really want (Dwight,Melo) it makes me even more scared because this team seems like it hit its ceiling and I don’t know what could fix it.

          • MJ

            Don’t feel bad and thank you this week has been slow. Honestly, I was being a dick because I was telling you what to do. You’re clearly not a troll. More importantly the Celtics are proving you right and if this continues into next week, I’m siding with you. I’m starting to think this season is going to get worse before it gets better.

            Games like tonight and last night get me to think. Is this because the Celtics are screwed or is it that they are going through a slump? And I follow that question with another question: Does it matter? The Celtics have been better than awful (l mean like Philly) but are we seriously hyping them up just for another first-round exit? Even when the Celtics are playing at their best, they are not any better than Orlando or Detroit. Part of me thinks the Celtics should just give up their best assets and then go back to relying on the lottery. It wouldn’t be hard to bottom out with the east being competitive in seeds 1-13 and we could get some nice value out of IT.

            I will disagree about Brooklyn (respectively). They are going to get worse. Even though I think Jack isn’t anything special, he’s still an NBA caliber player, and after that, who do they have at guard besides Larkin and Bogan? Nobody. They play Johnson at wing because he’s too slow to be a 2. Point being, their guard play is going to suffer immensely without Jack. Rumor has it too that they are going to blow everything up outside of Lopez/Young because they know they aren’t making the playoffs.

          • Sean

            You know I just checked the standings and though I think we’ll drop after tonight, we’re still in the 8th spot. I’m shocked.

            I agree we’re not really better than either of those teams or almost any team unless this team gives A+ effort every night. The fact that we give Evan Turner so many minutes still tells me where this team is headed. Remember last year the excuse was he played because we were weak at the wing and at ballhandling. To me, Marcus, RJ and AB all took a step up this year, and they’re all ballhandling wing players. So I don’t get why Evan the Turnover machine keeps getting minutes. He’s just not a starter on a real contending team.

            & I think Brooklyn will only be worse too. Their annual Lopez injury is coming any day now. Not that I’m wishing an injury on him it’s just bound to happen. He’s played 50% of possible games the last 4 years.

            I really think there’s only 3 keepers on this team. Marcus, RJ, and Kelly if he keeps it up. I want to see Mickey play too.

          • MJ

            It’s only because Orlando and Charlotte are sucking more than the Celtics at the moment. Seriously if this streak continues, the Celtics are looking at #12 seed if their competitors get their act together.

            I actually don’t mind Evan Turner as long as he’s the back-up playmaker off the bench as opposed to starting. I was just talking with someone and we agreed that a guy who would really thrive in ET’s role, as risky as he is, would be Lance Stephenson. They play the same style but Stephenson does what ET does only better. What do you think?

            I think it might be time we go back to developing the kiddies and try to get more talented ones. The Bucks have a lot of young talent that don’t quite mesh. I was thinking maybe a package of IT + other young value for Jabari Parker wouldn’t be too bad of a deal because Parker isn’t fitting with the Bucks style of play at all.

            I’d add Crowder to that group of keepers. I’ve been very impressed with his improvement this year and he does two things that this team values: Defense and 3-pt shooting. I’d say he’s one of the better 3-D guys in the league.

            I also want to see what Mickey is made of. Imagine him and Ben Simmons running the fast break in a small ball group.

          • Sean

            At this point, all we can do is hope Danny makes a good trade or this team puts together a great run like last year and once again ends up in 7th or 8th. Remember we weren’t supposed to be going the 7th-8th seed route, we were supposed to have a bad year, now we’re paying for it.

            I just cant stand the guy lol. Even when he was in Philly during the big 3 days he beat us on a game winner I still thought he was a goober. Every time he runs up the court with the ball I expect a TO. It might still be too early but I’m hoping RJ will be the guy off the bench. He was a playmaker and the lead guy in college. I do think even Lance could help this team over Turner. The Clips want to trade, honestly I’d take Crawford/Pierce/Lance over Turner. I like Crowder too but he’s not a big scorer, thats why I was really hoping we’d get Tobias Harris.

            If we got somebody like Parker or Giannis that would be a dream scenario. Really any scorer would help this team. We need scoring & rim protection and sadly theres not any player like that available so we need multiple players. I’d like Parker, but if we give up IT we’d be back to one primary scorer. I hope Mickey will play, the kid is even hitting three’s. He’s like a video game player in the D league.

          • MJ

            See its because the odds aren’t high of said trade happening that I’m leaning towards going the other way, as in drop out of the playoff race and selling the best assets this team has. I say that because it’s clear we’re not any better than our competitors and even if say we do make a run that does not mean we’re getting past Cleveland. They’ll destroy the Celtics in a playoff series. I say let’s get some young talent and build with the lottery. Add to our lottery odds with Brooklyn. It may upset some of the guys, but like you, I don’t want this team to be just half-decent. I want this team to be a contender. That’s going to require some re-building.

            The whole IT for Parker trade is initially setting back the team while building up a better future because IT could fill the spacing void that the Bucks have had since they traded Knight, and Parker would be the guy the Celtics would rely on as the guy of the future. He hasn’t lit the league on fire but on the Celtics, we wouldn’t count on him right away for elite production. Again, imagine him and Ben Simmons along with the guy we both are hyping up, Jordan Mickey. That is a future core to go along with Smart, Crowder, and RJ. Add Olynyk and Stephenson and holy crap, that’s a scary young team.

            So all in all, what I’m saying is, temporarily set this team back in the present while building a good future.

          • Sean

            I like your point I just hate the idea of tanking. Even after tonight I’m not sure if it needs to be totally blown up or tinkered with. I do know for certain though SOMETHING has to change. It’s getting harder to watch each game. It’s worse than the KG/Pierce 4th quarter collapses because they were old and those mostly happenned w/ bad teams on back to backs. This is different. But if it gets us back to a championship I’ll support whatever. I’m doubtful we get Simmons, but your Parker trade idea looks more realistic every day and thats a good thing. I’d like to see Mickey get PT and maybe make a trade for Will Barton. I know he’s another point guard but anything to stop the Evan Turner marathon.

          • MJ

            I don’t like the idea of tanking either and even didn’t mind the run the Celtics went on last year, but the circumstances have changed. The east is 10X better than it was after the all-star break last year. The Celtics are making the gamble that the Nets picks will work out, which isn’t a sure thing that 1. They’ll get a high pick and 2. They’ll get someone good from that high pick even if they do. I think it’s better that they increase their odds in the lottery while they can. They have the youth and flexibility to do so.

            I agree that something has to be done. I don’t want to see David Lee play another minute as a Celtic and I’m sick of seeing guys who deserve time be buried on the bench. Will Barton is intriguing but at the same time I wonder if the Nuggets really would get rid of him since he’s young and flashy.

          • Sean

            Honestly, the whole time I’ve had a few keepers in my head. But after the last game with the arguing on the court, Smart might have worked his way out of it. I don’t like seeing somebody so frustrated they’d blow the game. Even Lee has been whining and he was supposed to be a pro. I think we should package ET with Amir b/c he’s probably the best player chip we have. I’m open to anything at this point, including trading the picks because it seems like we get worse while BK gets better. I hope we just get RJ and Mickey some minutes.

          • MJ

            I won’t disagree that what Smart did was stupid but I’m not going to disown my kid after he breaks a window in the house. Smart may never be a knock-down shooter but I like his playmaking skills along with his tight defense. I think his absolute ceiling is a shorter Ron Artest. One of the best defenders of his time that figured out overtime how to be useful offensively. Artest was better offensively than Smart was coming into the league, but I’m an optimist about Marcus. I can’t help it, and again it’s not like the Celtics are in win-now mode.

            But come on, Brooklyn aint getting better. They lost their starting point guard, their coach, and have no prospects. They got thrashed last night by the Spurs at home and they look like they have quit. They are stuck. That pick is going to be gold.

          • Sean

            Watching him in college, I thought he would be better. I didn’t watch every game but I saw enough to think that even though he wasn’t going to be the best scorer in the league, he could maybe one day score 20 ppg. Now I see that will probably never happen, and that he was probably never worth the 6th pick. Even worse, the Cs probably passed on Randle and other players because they were too similar to Sullinger. Another guy who I think will never really break past what they already are. Idk I’m just hoping one of these 1st rounders someday actually turns into a starter besides AB.

            And you’re right about BK, it just seems like they’re winning more than they should, actually enjoy when the Lakers win ( I hate it) because it might make the BK pick better.

          • MJ

            Well, Imma hold my breath because I think the guy is still recovering from injury and he’s clearly shown that he loves the game with an intensity that KG had when he was here. His defense is already elite, his playmaking abilities are actually promising although I can’t say the same about his shooting. I think he can carve out a niche in this league as long as he plays next to guys who can shoot the ball. I try my best not judge a player right away unless he has shown that he absolutely can’t play (ie Fab Melo). Smart has shown me he can play the game. I believe in him.

            As far as with Randle, I guess I’m a little less lenient with him because he hasn’t played for a winning team (which in retrospect isn’t his fault) and I wonder if he’s really going to be a winning player. He can score, but he may give back on defense what he produces on offense. Like a new-age Carlos Boozer. Feel free to disagree. To me, the Randle-Smart debate is a fascinating one. Its a clear-cut apples and oranges debate because the two of them do things very well on one end of the court, but their contribution on the other end of the court is lackluster. This is just me being a Celtics fan, but I believe Smart can fix his offensive woes more than Randle can fix his defensive woes.

            But man, fuck the New York Knicks. I hate them so much right now.