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Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder carry leadership torch 01.13.15 at 2:01 am ET
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Marcus Smart

Marcus Smart

Whether it’s a direct result of trading Rajon Rondo and Jeff Green or a direct response to those deals, these young Celtics are playing with more purpose than they have all season.

“It’€™s kind of like being a younger brother,” C’s rookie Marcus Smart said following a 108-100 victory against the Pelicans. “You’€™re always told, ‘You can’€™t do this; you’€™ll never do this,’ and you just want to prove them wrong. And that’€™s kind of what we’€™re trying to do.”

Rondo has since admitted to a lack of effort during his final 18 months in Boston, and Green was notorious for showing up one night only to disappear the next. That’s a horrible message for young players, and probably part of the reason they’re gone.

“I’€™d like to see everybody carry the torch,” Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said of a void left by trading his two top players, adding: “Everybody has to be a leader, and I’€™ve seen just in recent weeks that there are more voices to be heard and more people that are stepping up and trying to be leaders, and time will tell whether they can be. Sometimes some voices snuff out the voice of others, and we’€™re tying to create a culture where everybody takes ownership and it results in the success of the team.”

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Read More: Boston Celtics, Jae Crowder, Marcus Smart, NBA
NBA Draft’s Potential Celtics: Marquette SF/PF Jae Crowder 06.26.12 at 1:12 pm ET
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As part of’€™s coverage of the 2012 NBA draft, we are profiling all players considered likely candidates to be drafted June 28. The Celtics own three picks: 21, 22 (from the Thunder in the Kendrick Perkins trade) and 51.


Position: Small forward/power forward

Team: Marquette

Age: 21

Height: 6-foot-6

Weight: 241 pounds

Achievements: 2012 Big East Player of the Year, 2012 All-America second team (AP, Sporting News)

Key 2011-12 stats: 17.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 32.9 minutes, 2.5 steals

What he brings: Crowder is an undersized forward who will likely struggle defensively at the NBA level due to his lack of size and quickness. Crowder is not athletic enough to be a consistent performer at the next level and lacks explosiveness.

However, what Crowder lacks in size and quickness he has in effort and toughness, as he is strong for a player his size and will be an energy player off the bench. He is a smart player who will fight through contact to finish his shot and has decent range as a shooter. He will never be a star at the NBA level, but Crowder could be an undersized sparkplug off the bench.

Where the Celtics could get him: Crowder is projected to be selected in the back half of the second round.

Notes: Crowder was named the 2012 Reese’€™s College All-Star Game MVP. … Before joining Marquette in 2010, Crowder led Howard County Junior College to its first NJCAA men’€™s college basketball title and was named 2010 NJCAA Player of the Year. ‘€¦ His father, Corey Crowder, played briefly in the NBA for the Jazz and Spurs.

Recent articles:

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Crowder, DJO try to make the most of Chicago Combine

Chicago Tribune: Marquette’€™s Crowder finishes strong

Video: Here is a quick look at what Crowder has to offer.

Read More: 2012 NBA Draft, 2012 NBA Draft's Potential Celtics, Jae Crowder,
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