All-time NBA sixth man sends confident message on Boston Celtics' title hopes

Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics
Golden State Warriors v Boston Celtics / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

Three-time NBA Sixth Man of the Year Jamal Crawford sent a confident message on the Boston Celtics' title hopes this year during a March 4 conversation with the crew of Betway; all but confirming the Cs are his definitive prediction to hoist the Larry O'Brien Trophy in June.

“I'm sure there's a team that can, but I think this is Boston's year," Crawford prefaced before saying, "The way they're put together, they got Jrue Holiday and Porzingis and they’ve got more talent, but they actually got more mature, and I think some of their shortcomings were turnovers at crucial moments and not as much flow with their offense. Maybe too many threes and not diversifying that way and Jrue Holiday plays inside the three-line.

“Porzingis can play in or out, he can post up, he can go to the mid-post, if a lull is coming, his scoring can get them through that lull by going inside and slowing the game down. I think this is Boston’s year, they have the best starting five. Obviously, Tatum is sharing the ball at a higher rate and he's allowing other guys to be stars in their roles and he's still being the superstar he is. Boston is ready to make it happen this year.”

Jamal Crawford believes Boston Celtics will win it all but isn't sure if Jayson Tatum will win MVP award

While Crawford sees the Celtics as the team to beat, he doesn't see Jayson Tatum's MVP case to be the best. Instead, Crawford listed Tatum, Oklahoma City Thunder star Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Denver Nuggets big man and two-time MVP Nikola Jokic as the three players he feels are capable of winning it all.

“Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Jayson Tatum, and Joker (Nikola Jokić) for me are probably the top three," Crawford said. “What SGA is doing is just incredible, he's shooting 54% as a guard and he's averaging over 2 steals a game. e's averaging 31 points, 6 assists, 5 boards and the thing that's really crazy about it is he's doing that as a young player in the league, who's trying to establish himself, but he's not taking away from everybody else, and his team is #2 in the West, so, he got to get his props there. With Tatum, he's the best player on the best team in the league, he's not averaging over 30 like he could, but the sacrifice he's given in leading his team and he's still so young.

“If Tatum wins MVP, everybody would look at the totality of what he's done in His career. Five-time All-Star, All-Star MVP and been to the finals, been to the Eastern Conference finals in different years, like he's done some things, so he's right there. Joker’s just so good. It's a joke. It really is a joke how good he is. He's playing the game backwards and when I say that I mean most people that average that many points, they're trying to score. He's trying to score last; he's trying to set everybody else up and he hates attention, he's just balling, and he'll always be there."

Most Boston Celtics fans would take Banner 18 if it meant Tatum didn't win the MVP, but it does feel as though there's a double standard when it comes to No. 0 getting his flowers. Luckily, Crawford, one of the league's all-time isolation scorers, understands how invaluable Tatum has been on both sides of the floor to the C's rise to the top of the standings.