After starting out the season 0-4, it looked like the Celtics were well on their way to getting a top pick in the draft this summer. It was what everyone expected after they traded away Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett this summer and Doc Rivers left to take the reigns of the Los Angeles Clippers.
But then they took care of the abysmal Utah Jazz, held on for a win over the Orlando Magic on the road, stunned the Miami Heat on a Jeff Green buzzer-beater, and last night crushed the Magic. And suddenly, just like that, they’re 4-4 and tied for first place in the Atlantic Division.
A big reason for their recent success (besides – with the exception of the Heat – the awful competition) has been the play of Jordan “Steez” Crawford. He’s played pretty well all year, but has looked especially good since becoming the starting point guard with Avery Bradley’s move to shooting guard.
Last night, he continued his impressive run as he dropped 16 points, dished out 10 assists, and added 5 rebounds in the Celtics’ 120(!)-105 victory over the Magic. The most beautiful play of his night came early in the 3rd quarter, and earned him a spot on Pass of the Night.
He brought the ball up the right side of the court on a secondary break, where he found Aaron Afflalo waiting for him just inside the three-point line. After a few hesitation dribbles, Steez made a quick spin move that easily got him past Afflalo. When the help defense stepped up, he dropped a pass – while spinning in the air – off to Brandon Bass in the corner.
With as well as he’s been playing, hopefully people will finally give him his respect.