|One year later, Brad Stevens has no regrets when comes to Rajon Rondo trade||12.18.15 at 9:03 pm ET|
Jae Crowder has left his mark on the Celtics and their coach.
Having been one of three players traded to the Celtics in the Dec. 18, 2014 deal with the Mavericks ‘ joining Brandan Wright and Jameer Nelson (neither of whom are still on the team) — Crowder had nothing to lose and everything to prove.
“I knew people had told me they thought he could be a pretty good player,” said Stevens before his team’s game against Atlanta at TD Garden Friday night. “I knew he was tough when he played at Marquette. And I knew nothing else. So, I’m really happy he was included in that trade.”
Crowder came in as a blank slate, but has defined himself as one of the Celtics’ most important players since arriving in the Rondo deal.
Coming into Friday night, the Celtics had gone 43-40 in games Crowder has appeared. In those games, Crowder is averaging 10.4 points per game, playing in 25 or more minutes 55 times. Only Avery Bradley and Evan Turner has seen more time on the court for the C’s over that span.
Stevens admits, “I didn’t know that he could do all that he could do.”
This year, Crowder has averaged 36 percent from beyond the 3-point line, while totaling 12.5 points and 1.96 steals per game (9th best in the NBA).
Meanwhile, Rondo’s teams — Dallas and Sacramento — have gone a combined 35-35 when the point guard has played, with his individual results (both on and off the court) getting mixed reviews.
It has all helped put the former Celtics star ever further in the rear-view mirror for Stevens and his team.
“We started to see, like, hey, there’s a guy [in Crowder] that can do a little bit more than stand in the corner and shoot,” the coach said.
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