Crowder scored 21 points (9-15 FG, 3-8 3Pt) and added five rebounds, two assists, two steals, and a block in 29 minutes during Wednesday's 122-117 win over the Nets.
A third or fourth option on the Celtics, Crowder can be overlooked at times. But Crowder is a strong across the board fantasy producer. He's unlikely to reach 20 points and three three pointers every night, but the rest of his Wednesday box score is entirely repeatable. At only 26 years old, Crowder should still be improving.
Crowder (rest) will be available off the bench for Wednesday's preseason finale, but is not expected to play, Jay King of MassLive.com reports.
Crowder joins Isaiah Thomas, Avery Bradley and Al Horford as players receiving the night off for rest Wednesday. Rookie Jaylen Brown is expected to get the start at small forward in his place and should be in line for increased minutes, as coach Brad Stevens hopes to get a better look at the Celtics' first round pick. Crowder should be good to go for the regular season opener on Oct. 26 against the Nets.
Crowder compiled 11 points (4-8 FG, 1-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), five rebounds, two assists and two steals across 15 minutes in Sunday's 120-99 preseason win over the Nets.
Crowder's production has been mostly muted this preseason, with the 26-year-old turning in only three double-digit scoring efforts in six games, but it may just be a byproduct of coach Brad Stevens limiting the minutes for his starters. Once the regular season arrives, Crowder should make for a reliable source of points, three-pointers, rebounds and steals at the forward spot.
Crowder contributed eight points (3-7 FG, 2-4 3Pt), six rebounds and three assists across 24 minutes in Thursday's 107-92 preseason win over the Hornets.
Crowder was an under-the-radar fantasy gem last season with averages of 14.2 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 three-pointers in 31.6 minutes per game, all of which were career highs. While he's firmly solidified himself as a foundational player for the Celtics, he may have trouble replicating those numbers again, particularly in the offensive categories. In the Celtics' first two preseason games, Crowder has sacrificed some shots to accommodate free-agent pickup Al Horford, who gives the team a frontcourt scoring threat it severely lacked a season ago. With Horford, Isaiah Thomas and Avery Bradley all expected to rank ahead of him in usage among the starting five, Crowder may need to up last year's shooting marks from the field (44.3%) and three-point range (33.6%) in order to compensate for an expected drop in volume.
Crowder is no longer experiencing pain in his ankle, Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com reports.
Crowder struggled with a sprained ankle at the end of the 2015-16 regular season and into the playoffs, but was never forced to undergo offseason surgery. However, the pain lingered for nearly two months after the Celtics were eliminated from the playoffs, showing a true toughness from the 26-year-old forward for being able to play through it for so long. Now that the ankle is pain free, Crowder will look to return to form at the start of his fifth NBA campaign and he should be with the team for training camp without any restrictions.
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