But Crowder’s not just playing the four. He’s also playing shooting guard and small forward, taking on a variety of roles as Quin Snyder’s Swiss army knife. That’s a familiar position for Crowder, who’s played a similarly versatile role since being drafted No. 34 in 2012. “He turned out to be one of the most resourceful players that has come into the league in the last six or seven years,” his former Dallas head coach Rick Carlisle said on Thursday. Carlisle has followed Crowder’s career with interest since the Mavericks traded him to the Boston Celtics in 2014 as part of the Rajon Rondo deal.
What does resourceful mean? “He just finds ways to win,” Carlisle said. “He finds ways to impact the game, little things, nuance things. He’s a great cutter and underrated passer. He’s learned how to shoot the three consistently. He had some problems from the free-throw line early on, and he’s solved that completely. He came into the league as a very good midrange shooter, which was unique.”