Crawford could see more time in Game 2

Crawford could see more time in Game 2
April 22, 2013, 2:15 pm
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NEW YORK — Before Saturday's game with the Knicks, there was only one player on the Celtics' shortened bench who didn't have playoff experience: Jordan Crawford.

Acquired from Washington just hours before the Feb. 21 trading deadline, Crawford played a bit under 11 minutes in Boston's 85-78 Game 1 loss.

There were a number of regrets the C's take from their first playoff contest of the season, and among them was not getting Crawford more minutes. That's likely to change in Tuesday's Game 2 matchup.

For the most part, coach Doc Rivers was pleased with Crawford's playoff debut.

"I thought he was good," Rivers said. "He stayed in his lane, let's put it that way. He didn't go outside of it. Usually guys in their first [playoff] game, they do one or the other. Some guys don't do anything. I though he did far better than that. Or they try to do too much. I thought he was pretty much under control emotionally."

During his time on the floor, Crawford did not take a single shot from the field, which is a rarity for him. Crawford has played in 176 NBA games, and there have only been two other occasions -- both times with the Celtics -- when Crawford appeared in a game and did not take a single shot attempt.

"When I go out there, I'm just going to play my game," Crawford told reporters prior to Monday's practice. "If somebody's open, I'm supposed to pass it to them. If I got a shot, I'm supposed to shoot."

Like anyone playing in their first playoff game, Crawford had no idea of what to expect.

"I really wanted to see if there was any difference, if the intensity picked up or anything . . . it was pretty much the same, except games matter more," Crawford said.

As the Celtics try to even up this best-of-seven series, contributions from their shortened bench will have to increase. That means more from Crawford, though it doesn't necessarily mean he needs to be more of a scorer.

Of all the things that Crawford has done thus far for Boston, his ability to create shots for others and his unexpected willingness to pass have been among the biggest surprises with his play.

During his time with the Wizards, Crawford had developed a reputation for being a selfish, shoot-first, second, third . . . type of player whose opinion of his game was higher than that of most.

Don't get it twisted; Crawford is still very confident.

But he understands having a chance to play with a team like the Celtics at this point in his career is an opportunity he can ill afford to waste.

"Just a learning experience," the 24-year-old told recently. "I have a great group of veterans around me here. I'm going to do what I can to help this team; but basically I'm just going to keep on doing me, know what I mean?"

And that means proving he can do more than just score the ball. Although he only had one rebound in the Game 1 loss, that didn't mean he wasn't actively involved in the C's offensively.

Said Crawford to recently: "I consider myself an all-around player who can do a lot of things out there. That's all I'm trying to do, man. Just do whatever it is Doc needs me to do when my number's called. Nothing more than that."