Confident Crawford making most of his chance

Confident Crawford making most of his chance
November 12, 2013, 10:45 pm
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BOSTON — Joe Crawford Sr. doesn't remember all the particulars of his son Jordan Crawford's first foray into being a point guard.

He was a little tike back then, playing with a bunch of other kids who probably had similar dreams of someday playing in the NBA.

Even then Crawford relished the opportunity to compete and show just how good a a player he was.

Not surprisingly, he wound up as a starter.

Yes, even back then Crawford was down for breaking a few hearts and a few ankles along the path of success he was determined to blaze for himself.

Now life hasn't gone according to plan (does it ever?) for Crawford, but he can take solace in the fact that he is finally getting a chance to play major minutes at the point guard position.

That's important, but there's more to what drives him these days.

"Getting as many wins as I can with the opportunity that I got," Crawford told CSNNE.com. "I definitely want to take full advantage of it."

So far, so good.

If there has been a breakout player among the Celtics returners from a year ago, Crawford would be that guy. He has appeared in all eight games this season for Boston, averaging 11.3 points and a team-best 4.3 assists per game.

And to break his assist numbers down even more, he has a total of 34 this season while turning the ball over just 10 times.

The fourth-year guard's basketball brilliance was on display Monday when he had 16 points and 10 assists without committing a single turnover.

"He's doing a great job," said Boston's Kelly Olynyk. "He's getting everybody the ball where they can be real effective."

Said Crawford's backcourt mate Avery Bradley. "He's been a playmaker, been able to create for others ..."

While the praise has been pouring in the past couple of days for Crawford and his play, there will be no human bobble head-like transformation for him.

He refuses to get big-headed about how things are playing out or drown in his owner personal success, even as the increased attention comes at him one wave after another.

"My teammates get open for an easy shot, I get them the ball. It's really that simple," Crawford said.

But his career has been anything but simple.

After a strong junior year in high school, he suffered an ankle injury the first game as a senior year that kept him sidelined and with that, off the recruiting radar screen as one of the nation's elite prep players.

Crawford knew there were players getting more credit and adulation than him who weren't as good.

"It added a little fuel to the fire, but it was also my fault that people weren't talking about me," said Crawford. "I wasn't playing that much in high school. I was the little brother of Joe Crawford, so that's hard to compete with, too. I went under the radar and followed him, pretty much."

His older brother was a prep All-America at Detroit's Renaissance High School and would later go on to play for the University of Kentucky. He came in with a freshman Wildcats class that also included current Celtic Rajon Rondo.

While Jordan Crawford certainly was overshadowed in some capacity by his talented brother Joseph, Jordan Crawford still went about carving out his own niche as a player.

After committing to Indiana and playing one year for the Hoosiers, the Kelvin Sampson controversy hit and Crawford immediately hit the road to play for his second choice, Xavier.

Crawford had to sit out a year because of NCAA transfer rules, meaning once again his dream of playing the game he loved would be temporarily deferred.

Disappointed?

Absolutely.

But as far as it dealing a blow to his confidence?

That ain't happening!

Whenever life forced him to put the game he loves on pause whether it be because of an injury, an NCAA rule or simply being out of a team's rotation, Crawford embraced it for what it was - another hurdle he had to overcome.

"It's easy, really," he said. "This is what I want to do. It's not that hard to stay motivated. When it's time to get on the court, there's something that's going to motivate you."

And when you take motivation and marry it to confidence, it creates an individual with unshakeable faith that whatever their mind is set on achieving, will be done.

Crawford won't hesitate to tell you that he's confident and that it comes from being part of an extremely confident family.

"We're comfortable with ourselves more than anything, as a person," he said. "Forget basketball. I'm comfortable with myself. I don't worry about what people think."

And that confidence seems to be trickling down to his teammates even if they don't see it coming directly.

"Everybody has their own swagger in their own way," said Boston's Brandon Bass. "I just think that he displays his a lot more than everybody else. But you know what? I don't think nothing's wrong with it. You need swagger. It shows you are very confident in yourself, and I guess it would rub off on everyone else."