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2013 NBA Playoffs: Boston Celtics Head Coach Doc Rivers Smart to Put Faith in Jordan Crawford

The opening round playoff series between the Boston Celtics and New York Knicks is heading back to Beantown for Game 3 on Friday night with the higher seed having cruised to a 2-0 series lead.

That of course is refereeing to the New York Knicks, who have stifled Boston in back-to-back games after the halftime intermission. The Celtics scored 25 points in final 24 minutes of Game 1 on Saturday and then somehow found a way to only score 23 in the second half of their Game 2 loss on Tuesday night.

Problems, problems, problems for the Celtics, who could have had a chance to not only steal one, but both games in New York had they not collapsed after halftime in each contest. Well they did, and now Boston must find a way to get — not just one — but both wins back as the teams make the trek north to Boston.

On Wednesday afternoon, the Celtics were back at practice, looking to get themselves more mentally prepared for Game 3. In an interview with reporters, head coach Doc Rivers was asked about the increase in minutes for Jordan Crawford on Tuesday night. Rivers didn’t beat around the bush too much, simply stating that when Crawford earns more minutes, Courtney Lee gets less. Rivers went on to point out that Crawford is just playing better basketball right now and that it’s playoff time.

Rivers is right in that regard, you obviously want to have your top lineup or rotation clicking when you get to this point in the season. In all however, Rivers is simply making a smart coaching move by playing the guy who is playing the best basketball. That’s it.

Crawford scored ten points on Tuesday night, while Lee recorded a goose egg in four minutes of action. Crawford was not overly efficient, needing 11 shot attempts to even get to double-digits, but the fact of the matter is that he was at least being aggressive. At this point in the season, any team would hope that they would have these rotations solved, but for Boston that’s not the case.

Crawford is playing better and that’s all Rivers should be worried about in terms of grouping together his best lineups because it’s not about playing time at this point, it’s about the simple fact that Boston needs a win on Friday night.

 

Follow Paul Seaver on Twitter: @PaulSeaverRS