I’m not sure if the tweet above is referring to Jordan Crawford playing point, but it certainly fits. The Celtics (understandably) didn’t want Crawford running the show since the alternative is, you know, All-NBA superstar Rajon Rondo. But truly, they don’t have a choice. The Steeze is wise, and he has spoken.
At ESPN Boston, Chris Forsberg has a nice feature on Crawford. Click on the link to see Steez’s bravado about playing the point — it’s endearing, hilarious and a little aggravating all at the same time, the perfect encapsulation of him.
Forberg’s piece also includes some numbers which encapsulate Crawford’s impact as a starter.
Crawford’s impact on Boston’s offense is undeniable. Over the past four games, the Celtics own an offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) of 109.3 when he’s on the court (and it drops eight points when he’s off). The downside is an uptick in the team’s defensive rating (104.4 when he’s on the court; 93.7 when he’s off), but it’s hard to argue with the end result (particularly with how well Bradley has played with Crawford next to him).
One other monster benefit of having Crawford on the floor as a ball-handling presence: Boston’s turnover rate has plummeted. The Celtics were the worst team in the league in turnover percentage while dropping their first four games. In the four wins since, Boston’s turnover rate drops to 13 percent when Crawford is on the floor (it’s still up at 18 percent for the season).
More thoughts, including a video, after the jump.
It’s not a huge surprise that Crawford helps an offense but hurts a defense, nor is it a surprise that Bradley’s move to off-ball offense has produced such excellent results.
Perhaps the biggest surprise has been how versatile Crawford has looked as a point guard. It’s not just pick-and-rolls that are working, it’s…well…everything.
Included in that video:
— A Rajon Rondo-esque dish in transition to get Jeff Green involved rather than scoring himself.
— Two post entry passes to Jared Sullinger which have thus far eluded the Celtics (and forced Sully into taking pick-and-pop 3-pointers that have most Celtics fans foaming at the mouth).
— Two gorgeous passes backdoor to a cutting Bradley.
— An extra pass in transition to a trailing Kelly Olynyk for the slam, a pick-and-pop for Olynyk at the elbow and a gorgeous lookaway that produced a layup for Olynyk.
— Some crazy whirling thing to Brandon Bass.
— A stat-stuffing assist to Jeff Green.
There’s a lot of variety in those passes, and they all worked to make Crawford’s teammates better on offense. That’s not something Bradley, for all of his many good qualities, can boast. When Steez is entrusted with the keys to the offense, he turns the team from a gas-guzzling Hummer into an efficient Hybrid.
I know. I don’t get it either.
The Celtics don’t have much of a choice but to play Crawford at point guard, but if early indicators hold, Boston’s only option isn’t a bad option at all.
Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_NBA.
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