Jamal Crawford won’t use crossover as often this season


Jamal Crawford’s slick crossover has made him one of the NBA’s best sixth men and a fan favorite.

Though it’s probably not time to bid Crawford’s handles adieu, you might not see them as often this season.

Doc Rivers’ preferred offense includes more passing and less isolation, and that means a guard like Crawford will spend a lot of time using off-ball screens rather than breaking down a defender.

Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:

Rivers already has been impressed by Crawford after just three days of training camp.

“He’s terrific coming off the picks without the ball,” Rivers said. “He really is good. He’s a catch-and-shoot guy as well, and I didn’t know that and now I know.”

In many ways, Crawford says that running off screens just gives him more scoring options. “It’s totally different, for sure,” he said. “I think it’s an added part in my game and everybody’s else’s game too.”

Crawford ranked 27th in the NBA last season on isolation plays, according to MySynergySports, scoring .95 points per play. That was his highest ranking among all play types.

But he scored more points per play on spot-ups (1.16) and off screens (1.01), which is why Rivers wants to change Crawford’s role. Good ball movement leads to better scoring opportunities, even when not done as well – relatively – as one-on-one play.

Some players who are good at isolation can’t successfully transition to off the ball, but it sounds like Crawford can, and the Clippers should be better for it. Crawford will still have his crossover in his arsenal if he needs to make a play himself late in the shot clock, too.

Grizzlies’ James Ennis fouls out then hits half-court shot (video)

AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Against the Pacers last night, James Ennis missed all three of his 3-point attempts… that counted. And he makes this one after fouling out?

Mike Conley more than picked up the slack to lead the Grizzlies to victory.

Pelicans’ Dante Cunningham jumps on scorer’s table, Anthony Davis jumps on him (video)

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The Pelicans are effectively out of the playoff race, but Dante Cunningham and Anthony Davis are still competing — even if it looks a little silly.

That tone and a big game from DeMarcus Cousins (29 points, 16 rebounds, six assists) led to a 121-118 win over the Mavericks.

Goran Dragic puts alley-oop pass through rim (video)

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Goran Dragic is very good at alley-oops.

Too good.

With a “shot” like that falling, the Heat trounced the Knicks, 105-88.

Hawks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. kneed in the groin while defending 76ers (video)

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Since trading for him, the Hawks have gotten Tim Hardaway Jr. to buy in defensively.

After this help defense on 76ers center Richaun Holmes cost him dearly, I wouldn’t blame Hardaway if he gave up on the endeavor entirely.