When Leandro Barbosa was lost for the season during a routine drive to the basket against the Bobcats, it left a size-able hole on the C’s bench. Barbosa was finally getting into a groove, becoming the instant offense that the bench needed. He would simply put his head down and attack the basket and create shots out of nothing. Throughout the thousands of trade rumors and absurd Trade Machine proposals, not any of them suggested that Danny Ainge might make a play for Washington’s Jordan Crawford.
To the surprise of everyone, Crawford became that guy but is simply trying to adjust to his new surroundings.
Rivers, who played Crawford less than five minutes in Monday’s win over Utah, said he wants his new guard to remain aggressive in seeking out his own shot.
“That’s what we’re hoping, that he becomes the wild card, a Barbosa in a lot of ways,” Rivers said Thursday. “When he came in, you knew what he was going to do. We want to do that with Jordan. I think Jordan right now, his conscience is too good. You can see him coming in, trying to be a ball mover and that’s not really what he’s been and I don’t really want him to be that much. I want him to be an aggressive scorer, but I like the fact that he’s trying to fit in.”
Crawford is trying to make the adjustment as seamless as possible. Coming from a losing team that had no hopes of making the playoffs, he knows he needs to pick things up quickly if he wants to play a role in Boston’s push for the postseason.
“It’s a wake-up call, no time to adjust,” Crawford said of being traded to a playoff team. “You want to come in and help them right away. You don’t want to have a period where you’re adjusting and trying to fit in. You just want to come in and help them right away.”
Crawford isn’t more concerned with one particular side of the ball.
“Just coming in getting comfortable with the system, I think that’s the most important thing,” Crawford said. “Learn how they play and just know how they go about it every day.”
ESPN Boston - Crawford still adjusting to Celtics (Greg Payne)
Back in 2009 the Celtics acquired a bought-out Stephon Marbury from a dysfunctional New York Knicks organization. All season long, Marbury’s role on the team dwindled less and less until he eventually was phased out and essentially deemed ‘not part of the plan.’ Marbury struggled to adjust here on the court, being far too passive instead of the electric scorer he was known for throughout his career. Sound familiar? In both cases, they are players who needed a change of scenery. Crawford, like Marbury before him, is given another chance to prove he can become a team player within a winning environment. Doc is giving him the green light to simply play his game so as long as he fits in off the floor, he should be just fine on it.
As long as Crawford stays away from UStream and eating Vaseline, he’ll already have a big improvement over the Marbury Experience. Although if you ask Wizards fans, you never know what’s possible.