Oct 4, 2013, 3:59 PM EDT
Jamal Crawford’s slick crossover has made him one of the NBA’s best sixth men and a fan favorite.
Though it’s probably not time to bid Crawford’s handles adieu, you might not see them as often this season.
Doc Rivers’ preferred offense includes more passing and less isolation, and that means a guard like Crawford will spend a lot of time using off-ball screens rather than breaking down a defender.
Rivers already has been impressed by Crawford after just three days of training camp.
“He’s terrific coming off the picks without the ball,” Rivers said. “He really is good. He’s a catch-and-shoot guy as well, and I didn’t know that and now I know.”
In many ways, Crawford says that running off screens just gives him more scoring options. “It’s totally different, for sure,” he said. “I think it’s an added part in my game and everybody’s else’s game too.”
Crawford ranked 27th in the NBA last season on isolation plays, according to MySynergySports, scoring .95 points per play. That was his highest ranking among all play types.
But he scored more points per play on spot-ups (1.16) and off screens (1.01), which is why Rivers wants to change Crawford’s role. Good ball movement leads to better scoring opportunities, even when not done as well – relatively – as one-on-one play.
Some players who are good at isolation can’t successfully transition to off the ball, but it sounds like Crawford can, and the Clippers should be better for it. Crawford will still have his crossover in his arsenal if he needs to make a play himself late in the shot clock, too.
- Grizzlies start fast, hang on to beat Portland, take 3-0 series lead 0
- Bucks outwork Bulls, stay alive on Jerryd Bayless game-winner 6
- Nets use 18-0 second-half run to secure Game 3 victory over Hawks 5
- Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle fined $25K for publicly criticizing officials after Game 3 loss to Rockets 10
- PBT Extra: Stephen Curry starting to have his defining playoff moments 8
- Behind 32 points from Kawhi Leonard, Spurs rout Clippers to take 2-1 series lead 13
- The Truth (and Marcin Gortat) will set Washington free, up 3-0 on Toronto after win 8
- James Harden scores 42 points to lead Rockets to Game 3 win, 3-0 series lead over Mavericks 17