Celtics Notes: Lee, Crowder, Green

David Lee‘s 15-point, 12-rebound effort in the Spurs’ win at Boston Friday gave the Celtics a glimpse of the performance they expected from him last season, writes Gary Washburn of The Boston Globe. Boston acquired Lee in a trade with the Warriors in the summer of 2015, but started the season out of shape and was quickly pulled from the rotation. He played just 30 games for the Celtics before agreeing to a buyout in February. Lee signed with the Mavericks, then joined the Spurs over the summer on a minimum contract. “Everybody makes mistakes in their career and I think I came in not in the best shape and it wasn’t by design,” he said. “It was not laziness. I just didn’t do what I needed to do. I’ve been up front about acknowledging that. It’s easier to look at the coaching staff and say ‘Brad should have played me more.’ But I’ve been very open in saying I should have been in better shape and it takes that for me to be successful on the court. The staff did an unbelievable job of getting me in shape here but by that point I think it wasn’t coach’s wish to play me. We went our separate ways.”

There’s more news out of Boston:

  • Jae Crowder is starting to get comfortable again after an eight-game absence with an ankle injury, according to Taylor C. Snow of NBA.com. After two difficult games, Crowder has scored 15 and 18 points in his last two outings, and his teammates are noticing the difference. “When you come back from an ankle injury you’re kind of second-guessing yourself,” said Isaiah Thomas. “You don’t want to jump. You don’t think you can cut and do the things that you’re normally used to doing. So I think he’s gaining confidence in that ankle and getting back to his old self.”
  • The Spurs represent the kind of successful veteran team the Celtics believe they can become if they stay together, according to Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com. Friday’s game was in doubt until a late sequence where San Antonio hit a critical 3-pointer. “I was just talking with [Thomas] about how [Spurs coach Gregg Popovich] knows what he wants to get, and those guys run it to a T,” Crowder said. “… That’s one of the best teams that I ever saw in the fourth quarter.”
  • Veteran forward Gerald Green remains in the Celtics’ plans even though coach Brad Stevens held him out for the sixth time Friday, Forsberg tweeted. “The biggest thing is that you can’t play everyone,” Stevens said. “Gerald has been a great pro. Missing a lot of training camp was a really tough thing … but he’ll help us this year. I feel really good about that, and his attitude is really good. I’m glad he’s here.”
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