Coming into this season many people expected the Los Angeles Clippers to be a good team because of their success with Chris Paul and Blake Griffin last season. Following suit, they have emerged as one of the five or six best teams in the NBA this year. Their improvements can largely be attributed to the additions they made this past off-season, most notably that of Jamal Crawford.
From the jump, Crawford has been the favorite to be the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year and he had the production to back that up. In the 53 games that he played before All-Star Weekend Crawford averaged 16.8 points, 2.5 assists, one steal and 1.7 rebounds per game. The only downside to Crawford’s game was his field goal percentage of just 42.9 percent, but he did shoot 37 percent from three.
Crawford was impressive for obvious reasons in the first part of the season, but he’s actually been even better since the All-Star break. In the 11 games that he’s played since the break Crawford has averaged 16.6 points, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.4 rebounds per game. Those stats are relatively the same as they were before All-Star Weekend. However, what Crawford has improved upon since the break has been his efficiency, posting a field goal percentage of 50 percent and a three point percentage of 40.4 percent.
The Clippers have relied heavily on Crawford at times this season and he has delivered on most of those occasions. His ability to create offense for himself is almost unparalleled in the Association and that has greatly benefited L.A. If he’s able to continue to play as efficiently as he has over the past month for the rest of this season and into the postseason, the Clippers have the chance the make some serious noise in the Western Conference. Even if they don’t make much noise, Crawford is still pretty much a lock for the Sixth Man of the Year Award.