Boston Celtics: Jae Crowder Deserves All-Star Consideration


Boston Celtics’ Jae Crowder deserves All-Star consideration.

The first numbers for NBA All-Star voting were released the other day. Popular names like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Stephen Curry topped the list as fan favorites, but let’s consider Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder.

One name that you won’t see among the leaders, but has certainly been an all-star on his team is Boston Celtics forward Jae Crowder.

Jae Crowder has been a model of consistency for the some times inconsistent Celtics this season. He is one of only four Boston players to play in all 31 games this season, and is currently the only Celtic to start every game.

Crowder has been a main catalyst during the Celtics current four-game winning streak. Over this stretch, he is averaging nearly 17 points and nine rebounds per game.

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Though the numbers of Jae Crowder aren’t necessarily flashy and may not be considered all-star worthy, he has been the glue holding the Celtics together during the first two months of the season.

Crowder’s stats won’t jump off the page. He is averaging 13.2 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Crowder dishes out 1.8 assists and is shooting 44% from the field. All very solid numbers, especially while averaging just over 31 minutes per game, but not numbers that are going to necessarily garner tons of votes from fans.

In December, Jae Crowder has ratcheted his game up a notch. The scoring has been upped to 15.9 ppg and his rebounding has jumped to 5.9 rpg. He recorded three double-double’s in a row before falling just short in Boston’s winning effort against Detroit on Saturday night.

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Looking beyond his role on the offense, it can be seen that Jae Crowder truly shines when the Celtics are on defense. Since his arrival just over a year ago, Boston has consistently played better on defense, thanks in large part to Crowder.

The Celtics are holding opponents to 98.9 points per game, good for eighth in the NBA. They are currently second in steals with 9.7 per game and are holding opponents to a 43.3% field goal percentage.

Crowder can often be a one-man wrecking crew on defense, averaging 1.7 steals per game. His 17 blocked shots are currently only four from tying his career-high. Crowder does all of this while often guarding the team’s best player. His versatility on that end of the floor has him guarding taller players like James and guards like Curry.

Jae Crowder also brings a ferocity to the game not seen in Boston since the departure of Kevin Garnett. Though it’s not on the same level as Garnett’s, Crowder has become a vocal leader on this season’s team and he does an excellent job at inspiring his teammates.

The forward position is a crowded one in the Eastern Conference. Perennial all-star James is currently the leading voter at that position, followed by Andre Drummond (who put up 22 points and 22 rebounds against the Celtics on Saturday), and Paul George of the Indiana Pacers.

Can Crowder unseat any of these three players as an Eastern Conference starter at the All-Star game? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t done enough to garner some votes.

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Isaiah Thomas might be the one to sneak into the All-Star game for the Celtics, but Crowder certainly deserves some serious consideration. When punching that vote (or clicking) over the next month, why not make it two Celtics that get voted for and recognize Crowder for the outstanding job he’s done over these first two months?

Besides, the all-star game can stand to use a little defense, and Crowder would be the perfect man for the job.