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.
Crowder ended up playing in 12 of the Celtics' final 13 games in the regular season and playoffs after spraining his ankle in mid-March, but didn't look remotely like the same player the rest of the way. He averaged 11.1 points on an ugly 31.9 percent shooting from the floor, including a 23.9 percent mark from three-point range. Crowder may have tried to return too soon from the ankle injury, which Ainge also said included a bone bruise on his foot. Fortunately, Crowder was able to avoid aggravating the injury in a serious way upon returning, and looks like he'll just need to rest up and recover during the offseason in order to return to full health for the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
The Bossman's calling card is his hard-nosed defense. One must wonder if he ever fully recovered from the ankle injury that cost him eight games in late March. Crowder shot a lowly 22.5 percent in 12 regular season and playoff games following the injury. Boston is expected to add a bona fide scorer this off-season, allowing Crowder to return to a defense-first approach.
Jae Crowder (ankle) is still tentative offensively, shooting a modest 4-for-11 from the field in Boston's Game 4 win versus Atlanta.
With Avery Bradley out, the Boston Celtics have no choice but to ask for big minutes from the somewhat hobbled Crowder. And Crowder is responding with a gutsy performance, despite clearly not yet back at 100%. Since missing nine games in late March, Crowder is shooting a poor 38% from the field. The C's need Crowder to return to mid-season form as they travel to Atlanta for Game 5.
Crowder did help slow down the Hawks' Paul Millsap, who was equally bad on the offensive end in Game 2, but the injury-riddled Celtics were destroyed by a sad seven-point showing in the first quarter. Through two games in the series, Crowder has struggled to find his footing on the offensive end, going 6-for-25 from the field for a combined 16 points. Crowder is still putting up nice numbers in the other categories, but he'll have to shoot much better if the Celtics are going to overcome an 0-2 series deficit.
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