Though the Boston Celtics haven’t exactly impressed many people over the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, I doubt there were many people putting them at a disadvantage as they welcomed the Milwaukee Bucks on Tuesday night. To put it simply, the Celtics have been less than average, the Bucks have been bad.
The contest resulted in a high-scoring affair and ended in the fashion that you might expect, with the Celtics on top by a count of 108-100. However, what stood out for the Celtics and what has continually been a pleasant surprise over the start of the year is the outstanding play of guard Jordan Crawford.
On Tuesday night against Milwaukee, Crawford was undoubtedly the best player on the floor for much of the night. In 39 minutes of action, Crawford put up 25 points, five assists, two rebounds and one steal while shooting an efficient 8-14 from the floor and 4-7 from three. He led all scorers on the night while also notching a team-high in assists.
Despite shaky play when he came to the Celtics at the trade deadline last season and for most of his career, Crawford has been a much more efficient player this season as well as being a more willing and effective passer. For the season, he’s averaging 12.4 points per game, which is below his career average, but is also shooting a career-high 43.3 percent from the floor, a career-high 35.6 percent from three, and is leading the Celtics with a career-high average of 5.2 assists per game.
Though Crawford still has questionable decision-making at times, he’s clearly made improvements heading into this season and is making an effort to remedy some of his bad and more frustrating habits. The Celtics still aren’t a great basketball team and still desperately need Rajon Rondo back in the lineup, but there’s no doubt that Crawford’s turning over of a new leaf has helped keep the Cs’ head above water early on.