Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Celtics guard Jordan Crawford is the player most fans in the past (and if I’m honest even now) love to hate. Whether it’s because of his tendency to speak his mind of his over confidence in his skills (Better than Michael Jordan anyone?), his trash talking to opponents, or just his eagerness to put up a shot.
Whatever it is, Jordan Crawford has fans on either side of the fence. Personally, I’m on the Crawford bandwagon this season. I publicly came out in his defense earlier before Pre Season, and already I’m more than happy with his contribution to this new look Celtics.
The majority of Celtics world were not overly jumping with joy of at the prospect of Avery Bradley running the point. So much so, that a portion of Celtics fans were calling for newly signed undrafted rookie Phil Pressey to start after two games and Bradley return to his natural 2 spot. Now, I’m all for talented rookies getting their share of minutes, especially if they are more than up to the task at hand but I have to say I thought it was slightly disrespectful to both Avery Bradley and Jordan Crawford.
Lets not forget how former coach Doc Rivers on numerous occasions spoke out about his then guard.
"Probably the most talented passer of the ball on the Celtics roster" baffled most, but was a nice welcome surprise.
"His confidence is his biggest strength" is another great quote and one I believe really sums this all up about Crawford.
Doc Rivers is no chump, we know this. There are numerous reasons why a coach may come out to the media with quotes like this about their players. One because the praise can spur the player on, and getting them playing out of their skin, and two, well…. maybe they just mean it.
I personally like to think Doc did mean what he said about Crawford.
Crawford is one of those types of players who works hard at his game. He may not be the most naturally gifted (despite him maybe thinking he is), but what he has achieved he has got through sheer hard work.
These are the types of players I like. These are the types of players that coaches, players and fans like.
These are the types of players that Boston Celtics fans like, and this is why he is currently winning them over.
In the past week, team mates Jeff Green & Avery Bradley have both come out with high praise for Crawford, and spoke of his hard work, and maturity while also again mentioning his confidence. Bradley, spoke of how Crawford’s confidence had the rest of the team paying with confidence. I have to say I like the sound of a player like that.
Crawford’s double-double over the Orlando Magic was brilliant, and him covering Rondo at the point has given the Celtics better options, and are options that seem to be working. 10 assists and no turnovers really is a great game for somebody who is at the end of the day a shooting guard.
It is still very early days, and despite my glowing affection for Jordan Crawford’s play, he is never going to replace Rajon Rondo as the starting point guard. I would however, like to see him cement his place as Rondo’s back-up freeing up Avery Bradley to play his natural position. We all know what a great athletic back-court Rondo/Bradley make up. Let us not also forget, (again, early days) Crawford is currently shooting at his best… just over 50% from the field and 40% from behind the arc. Also, his shot selection seems to have improved. Damn, he used to frustrate me at times last season with some of those wild deep 3′s he would toss up (You know the ones?!). I guess that’s something else Crawford may have also worked hard on this pre-season.
I guess whatever side of the fence you sit on with Crawford, whether you are a Celtics fan or not. This season is going to be a wild rollercoaster for the Celtics. One with High-highs (The Heat buzzer beater), and more than certainly it’s fair share of Low-lows. I’ll be sitting back enjoying this one without the stress of the ‘one last shot’ with PP & KG, and will be soaking in this new, youthful, Celtics roster. However long it may stay together.
Be respectful and keep it clean. Thanks.