There are times when Boston Celtics swingman Jae Crowder talks after games and, if you shut your eyes, it’s eerie just how similar he can sound to Kevin Garnett. Just the other day, Crowder posted a picture on Instagram that featured himself and Garnett with the caption, “1 of my idols.”
It’s unfair to compare anyone to Garnett, but if this young Celtics team has a conscience, a voice that’s eager to speak up when things go awry, it’s typically Crowder. And on the heels of Wednesday’s 121-114 loss to the Detroit Pistons, you could sense the frustration in Crowder’s voice as he tried to pinpoint the reasons Boston couldn’t hose off a Detroit team that shot a blistering 55.2 percent at TD Garden.
“I think we have to get a little more nastier on the defensive end,” Crowder said. “Not let a team come in and get comfortable. It’s not been an ongoing thing; it happened today and it happened a couple games but, for the most part, we’ve been trying to impose our will first. That’s what our mindset is and that’s the mindset going forward.”
Game Kids Tony Wroten Jersey Crowder’s frustrations are almost certainly the product of a Boston team that’s eager to launch. Boston was eaten alive by the injury bug at the start of the season, its defensive rating plummeted to the basement of the league, and only recently has Boston been able to restore its defense-first identity as the team gets healthier.
Winners of seven of their previous 10 entering Wednesday’s game and with an agreeable schedule in the offing, it felt like a chance for the Celtics to finally distinguish themselves in the crowded Eastern Conference. Instead, Boston watched Detroit, playing the second night of a back-to-back set, come in and scorch the Garden floor, which included shooting 45 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.
Kids DeMar DeRozan Jersey Yes, the Pistons capitalized on the Celtics’ rebounding deficiencies, with Andre Drummond registering eight of his 17 rebounds on the offensive glass and utilizing putbacks to aid his 20-point night. But it was the 3-pointers from Tobias Harris (21 points) and the midrange assault of Ish Smith (19 points) that really frustrated Boston as Detroit consistently made tough shots.