On the eve of game three tomorrow night in Boston, Doc Rivers said Courtney Lee, who sat all but four minutes of game two, will continue to ride the bench while Jordan Crawford sees regular floor time.
“I’m not playing him right now,” said Rivers, before the Celtics practiced in Waltham Thursday afternoon. “Right now, honestly, Jordan’s moved in front of him on the depth chart.”
Rivers spent much of his media time addressing Boston’s offensive collapses in the second half of both games in New York. According to Rivers, playing Crawford over Lee is part of his attempts to get better shot creation and ball movement.
Rivers: “Jordan is another guy who can give us what I just talked about offensively and for us our defense has been pretty good so if it struggles then Courtney’s back in.”
Lee was — at least publicly — taking it all in stride.
“It’s an adjustment,” said Lee. “Doc changes the lineup all throughout the year. It’s just one of those things, you just have to stay ready and professional. It was just one game, so you never know.”
CH: Rivers is dealing with imperfect options here. Lee is the bigger, better defender and a good option on the corner three-ball, but Crawford has the ability to get his own shot and puts points on the board more easily (if not always more efficiently).
However, after two consecutive second half collapses that featured Crawford, it’s reasonable to wonder if he will come around with consistent usage or if he’s really the solution here, over Terrence Williams, another guy who’s a threat to attack the rim. Despite his off-the-dribble game and underrated passing, Crawford is, at best, a questionable decision-maker. He’s also shooting only 1-5 from the arc and that non-threat contributes to the problems with floor spacing.
Would Lee or Williams be any better, in terms of their total impact? The Celtics are running out of time to find out.
We’ll have more on Boston’s offensive struggles later this evening.