When the Boston Celtics traded for Jordan Crawford in the 2012-13 NBA season, the main idea that many thought was behind the move was to add a gunner to their bench that could potentially spark a rather dull bench unit in Beantown. However, that’s not the way things played out with Crawford in Boston last season.
In 27 games with the Celtics, Crawford averaged just 9.1 points, 2.5 assists and 2.7 rebounds in 21.6 minutes per game while shooting just 41.5 percent from the floor and just 32 percent from three. Instead of a spark, Crawford really only brought headaches to Celtics’ fans last season.
Surprisingly enough, though, Crawford has emerged as one of the Celtics’ most reliable offensive players so far in the 2013-14 NBA season. In their first 14 games of the season, Crawford is averaging 12.1 points, 4.4 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 26.9 minutes per game while shooting 46.7 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent from three. Though he still takes questionable shots at time, he’s largely played much smarter offensively and has been a willing and capable passer and facilitator within Boston’s offense.
On Saturday night against the Atlanta Hawks, Crawford’s solid offensive play helped lead the Celtics to a win, their first in their last seven games. In 35 minutes, he scored 12 points, grabbed three boards and dished out 10 assists. Sure, he was relatively inefficient overall, but his ability as a passer and some solid attacking on offense benefited the Celtics down the stretch.
The Celtics are a bad basketball team and we shouldn’t make any mistake about that. However, Crawford’s play this season is both somewhat shocking and promising in terms of his future for the league. If he can continue playing like this for the rest of this year and even after this year, he could have real value, especially off of the bench for a contender. We shall have to see if the once-gunner can keep up this new trend.