Skip navigation
Sign up to follow your favorites on all your devices.
Sign up

Jamal Crawford won’t use crossover as often this season

Los Angeles Clippers v Memphis Grizzlies - Game Four

MEMPHIS, TN - APRIL 27: Jamal Crawford #11 of the Los Angeles Clippers shoots the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2013 NBA Playoffs at FedExForum on April 27, 2013 in Memphis, Tennessee. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Getty Images

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.