Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports
Crawford is known for shooting without conscience, even to the detriment to his team. But Doc's message is clear - just keep shooting.
I remember back when we brought in Stephon Marbury and all his baggage. The constant knock on him was that he was that he had bad shot selection and called his own number way too often. So what did Doc do? He told him to be aggressive and go out there and look for his shot. He did the same thing with Nate Robinson and now he's doing the same thing with Jordan Crawford.
"Kevin (Garnett), everyone got on him at halftime because he missed a couple of shots and you could see that he didn’t want to shoot it anymore," Rivers said. "Our guys beat me to it. They said, ‘This is what you do — shoot the ball. They go in and they go out, but you have to keep doing it.’ When he came back out he was looking for his shot.
You see, these guys come from bad teams or bad situations and all of a sudden they are surrounded by Hall of Famers and a storied environment and they think that they have to somehow fit in and change their game to "the Celtic way." That may be true to an extent, especially on defense, but Doc's goal is to utilize a players strengths, not to minimize them.
"They're not used to playing with Garnett and Paul Pierce and Jason Terry and they want to fit in," Rivers said of scorers like Crawford being hesitant when first joining Boston. "And we want them to fit in. We want them to do the right thing. The other thing he's doing -- he's making great passes. He's playing the right way. But what we tell everyone, 'If you're missing your shot, we have no problem with that. Keep shooting it.'"
Like his hired gun predecessors, Crawford's greatest talent is putting the ball in the hoop. That happens to be a talent that this team needs, in particular during scoring droughts like the team was having in the second half of last night's game. Barbosa was great at filing in that bench scorer role early this year and Crawford was clearly brought in to fill that role. So far so good.