Jae Crowder practiced yesterday. Initial returns were positive. The small forward could very well return to the starting lineup tonight.
Jae Crowder made it through practice today and afterward, with a thumbs up, told Celtics PR guru Jeff Twiss he felt "good, real good."— Jay King (@ByJayKing) March 30, 2016
Danny Ainge told @Toucherandrich this morning that unless Jae Crowder is dealing with a setback today, he WILL play tonight vs. POR.— Brian Robb (@CelticsHub) March 31, 2016
While an innocuous hand signal doesn't necessarily mean Crowder's balky ankle won't flare up this morning, Ainge's comments sure are a positive sign for a Celtics team desperate to get back to their pre-All-Star rotation. Since the All-Star break, the Celtics have yet to play a game with both Kelly Olynyk and Jae Crowder in the lineup. The Celtics have compiled a 4-4 record without Crowder, with losses to the playoff bound Pacers, Raptors, Thunder, and Clippers. Though anxious to return, the Herald's Steve Bulpett reports he won't do so if he's not ready to play at a high level:
The determining factor for him returning is, Crowder said, "If I can really compete at a level I'm capable of competing at. I don't want to be a liability when I get back out there. I want to be as close to 100 percent as possible."
Celtics fans are hoping that Crowder is ready to return to action and go full throttle in Portland tonight.
Brad Stevens says that if Jae Crowder can play only one of the next two games, tonight will be the night.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) March 31, 2016
Photo Credit Mark L Baer/USA Today Sports Paul Colahan 3/31/2016 10:48:00 AM Tweet Edit