Jamal Crawford is the Clippers’ third leading scorer behind Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, despite being sixth on the team in minutes per game because he’s come off the bench in 56 of his 60 appearances.
Crawford is a huge part of what L.A. does, because he’s the only thing resembling a legitimate scoring option outside of the team’s starting five.
But according to Doc Rivers, the Clippers may be facing the very real prospect of heading to the postseason without him.
“Well, I’m concerned,” he said. “I mean, make no mistake about that. I mean, I was pretty confident that Blake (Griffin) would be back at some point, so I didn’t have concern on that. But I do have concern with Jamal; I’ll say that.”
Rivers was then asked the million-dollar question: Is it possible Crawford may not return at all this season?
“There’s a chance,” said Rivers, whose team today at 12:30 p.m. plays host to the New Orleans Pelicans. “You know, I don’t know right now because he’s improved, but not enough, I can tell you that. He’s nowhere near, in my opinion, playing. So we just have to hope he gets better.”
If the worst-case scenario becomes a reality, it would be a fairly significant blow to the Clippers’ hopes of doing any damage once the playoffs begin.
L.A. is riding a three-game winning streak, but is just 5-4 overall in the games that Crawford is missed. The remaining reserves are incapable of doing much at all, which is forcing the starters to play heavy minutes, even in games that result in blowout victories. The Clippers are having to rely on players like Austin Rivers and Nate Robison in Crawford’s absence, but can only afford to do so for very limited stretches.