In the Bonus: C's struggling since Crawford trade

In the Bonus: C's struggling since Crawford trade
January 29, 2014, 1:30 pm

BOSTON — Even when Jordan Crawford was running the point for the Celtics, they were a bad team that had twice as many losses (26) as wins (13).

But since the Celtics traded him to Golden State on two weeks ago, Boston has been worse -- much worse -- on several fronts not the least of which is wins.

In the eight games since the Crawford trade, Boston is just 2-6. And the reasons for the struggles since his departure are many.

There's the adjustment period that the team is in the middle of since Rajon Rondo's return to the lineup. Rondo has been playing limited minutes which has made getting into a rhythm challenging for both him and the Celtics.

There are a couple of new faces on the roster with 10-day contracts. Getting them up to speed hasn't necessarily been challenging as much as it has been just another in a long line of adjustments that the Celtics have had to make since the Crawford trade.

Statistically speaking, Crawford's imprint on this team was everywhere. With him, they averaged 95.2 points per game. Since the trade, the Celtics are down to just 91.5 points per game. Shooting from the field is down to 40.2 percent from 44.3 with him, and three-point shooting has taken a dip to 27.5 percent from 33.7.

One of Crawford's strengths was his ability to break players down, get into the lane and either find a shot for himself or pass to a teammate on the perimeter for an open jumper.

Since he left, Boston is taking more threes, with 27.9 percent of their shots being from three-point range compared to 22.7 with Crawford. Mid-range shooting remains relatively the same (31.2 percent compared to 30.3 with Crawford), but the same can not be said for shots in the paint.

Boston took 47.1 percent of its shots inside the paint with Crawford compared to just 40.9 percent now. Part of that centers around Rondo's limited minutes, which has made it more difficult for him to do the things he's accustomed to doing, like finishing in the paint or finding a teammate.

The trade also opened up more playing time for rookie point guard Phil Pressey who has responded with better, more consistent play.

Danny Ainge, Boston's president of basketball operations, told CSNNE.com that getting Pressey more minutes was among the reasons for trading Crawford along with MarShon Brooks, to Golden State in a three-team deal that netted Joel Anthony from Miami as well as a future first-round pick and a future second-round pick.

Despite their recent struggles, the Celtics have no regrets in trading Crawford.

"Jordan did a lot of good things with us this year," Ainge told CSNNE.com. "But my job is to do what is necessary to improve our team, both in the short and long-term. But this trade isn't a reflection on anything Jordan didn't do. He's a good player. He showed that this year with us."

The day before being traded, Crawford spoke about how much he valued the opportunity he was given this season while Rondo was out.

"It was good to show what I could do, for the time that I got," Crawford said. "I just want to stay consistent."