Proving Haters Wrong, One Pass at a Time
Entering his fourth season in the NBA, Jordan Crawford’s name had often been associated with words like “selfish” or “immature.” As most minds around the league saw it, the Boston Celtics guard was just another scorer concerned about his own stats, rather than the team’s success.
This season Crawford is proving everyone wrong, and showing that those thoughts about him are just common misconceptions.
After Avery Bradley struggles in the point guard role throughout the first four games, Crawford took over as the team’s primary ball handler. Boston needed somebody to run the offense and limit turnovers until all-star Rajon Rondo returned.
Fortunately for Brad Stevens and the C’s, Crawford was ready to do just that.
Upon being inserted into the starting lineup as the point guard spot, Crawford is averaging 12.7 points, 5.7 assists, 3 rebounds, and just 1.2 turnovers in almost 30 minutes-per-game. What’s even better – the Celtics have won four straight to propel themselves to the top of their division.
The 25-year-old has shown maturity and intensity well beyond the limits his previous reputation would allow for. In fact, his unselfishness has even led to better play from Bradley, who struggled through the first four games as the team’s starting point guard.
That can best be exemplified by Bradley’s most recent performance, as he dropped 24 points on 10-15 shooting as the team’s shooting guard in Monday night’s victory over the Orlando Magic. Bradley is playing more instinctive and aggressively, which is what he excels at the most.
It is as clear as day – The Celtics are better off with Crawford facilitating and Bradley scoring. And if you ask Crawford, he has seen himself as a point guard since the day he entered the league. He reiterated that after Monday night’s win.
“Y’all just now noticing that, huh? I was blessed with court vision,” Crawford said. “When a teammate’s open, you find him. I feel that I’m a point guard. That’s other people that listed me at shooting guard.”
Crawford is learning the skills that result in team-success. (Photo: Boston Herald)
Those words are a perfect example of Crawford’s personality. The ‘me-against-the-world’ attitude he has carried with him throughout his tenure as a professional. Yet - if you read between the lines - Crawford is beginning to learn that his evolution as a team player will turn heads. He is maturing, and his coach knows this.
“I talked to Jordan [Sunday] on our day off, just on the phone, and told him, ‘Our biggest day is [Monday],’ ” Stevens said. “I said it because we just had something kind of crazy happen, that, to be honest, won’t happen very often. We snuck out of there [Miami] with a win, but we need to see how we respond to that. So it’s a positive [for him] to respond in this way.”
Maybe this is why Stevens elected – after starting the season at 0-4 – to take Wallace out of the starting rotation for a smaller lineup that included Crawford. Or perhaps it was just by chance that Crawford’s opportunity has allowed him to excel in recent days.
Or maybe it’s the influence of veterans like Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett last season that caused Crawford to come to some sort of revolutionary breakthrough in mindset.
Regardless of the reason, the proof is showing up on the court night in and night out.
And whatever the case may be, Crawford continues to prove the naysayers wrong with every pass, every steal, and every game.