Jamal Crawford Gives Clippers Boost

clippersportlandIt’s a luxury to have a player like Jamal Crawford on your team who’s not panic-stricken to take a bizarre shot.

On Sunday night, the Minnesota Timberwolves must have forgotten that Crawford is an offensive scoring machine? He was left wide open and didn’t pause in uncertainty to bank a half court buzzer beater, which ended up being a big deal.

The shot was one of the reasons the Clippers walked away with the victory. He finished the game with 18 points and six assists.

“He’s just different,” Coach Doc Rivers said. “He’s a great offensive player and he can be struggling, but he just needs to see the ball go in, even if it’s three-quarter court. Once that went in, it was like it clicked him on.”

If Crawford continues to bring energy off the bench his playing time will likely increase to 30+ minutes or more. Last season he averaged 20+ minutes or more.

Crawford is taking on a larger role this year under Rivers. Crawford is known for his crossovers and breaking defenders ankles. But he want’s to be an all-around player on the court. With his thriller moves and sweet feet, he could certainly use his talent in more than one-way.

“I want to be more than an offensive threat, Crawford said. I feel like I can contribute a lot on defense as well. “

Rivers is a defensive-minded coach, so becoming a better defensive player is a prerequisite for every athlete that plays for him. And with Crawford’s special abilities and athleticism, it makes him a very attractive candidate for the challenge.

“It’s easy to play individual defense, Rivers said. It’s hard to play team defense because it requires trust and you have to build it.”

During the summer, Crawford said “yes” he would like a chance to be a starter in response to a fan asked him via twitter.  I think under Rivers, he can be a starter but only time will tell.

Through it all he’s managed to maintain a positive attitude and accept the duty coming off the bench. That’s the kind of attitude you want on your roster. His mentality proves it’s not about individuality; it’s about the team.

Crawford is one of the best sixth men in the NBA. The veteran has earned much respect around the league; players speak very highly of him. He’s also arguably the best sixth man in the NBA.

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