Celtics coach Brad Stevens is confident that a new five-year, $35MM contract won’t change Jae Crowder‘s game, writes Steve Bulpett of The Boston Herald. Boston acquired the 25-year old in a December trade with Dallas and rewarded him with the big contract over the summer. He averaged 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in 57 games for the Celtics after the deal. “With Jae, you do feel like even with that understanding that he’s going to play and the comfort of a long-term contract, it doesn’t change how he plays,” Stevens said. “He’s a competitive guy. He wants to do well, and he’s prideful. He would play just as hard in an open gym game in the summer as he will when it’s all on the line.”
There’s more this morning out of Boston:
- David Lee, who was acquired from the Warriors in an offseason deal, likes the chemistry he sees in Boston, according to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com. “That’s something we had last year in Golden State and something that is already well-established here,” Lee said. “The guys get along great and that was part of their success towards the end of the year last year; kind of establishing that from the start with some fresh faces.” Lee is looking for a bounce-back year in Boston after appearing in just 49 games with Golden State last season. A lingering back injury and the emergence of Draymond Green limited his playing time.
- Lee already sees similarities between the Celtics’ camp and Steve Kerr’s first camp with the Warriors last season, writes Mark Murphy of the Boston Herald. Kerr guided Golden State to 67 wins and an NBA title while finishing second in the Coach of the Year balloting. “The details are the biggest thing,” Lee said. “[Stevens is] a numbers guy and a technical guy. He throws a lot of stats in there about how the team can get better from last year, and how thin the line is from being fourth and 12th. It’s good for players to know from Day 1 what needs to be accomplished.”