Crawford ready for new role upon Rondo's return

Crawford ready for new role upon Rondo's return
January 14, 2014, 6:15 pm
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WALTHAM, Mass. — Jordan Crawford knew this day was coming sooner or later.

Rajon Rondo will be back in the starting lineup very soon - as early as Friday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers - which means Crawford will go back to the bench.

"I just take on a new role," said Crawford, the Celtics' leader in assists. "I still want to provide for the team any way I can. You knew it was coming. Just accept it and try to play better basketball."

That would certainly bode well for Crawford and the Celtics, losers of nine in a row.

And with Rondo's return, Crawford finds himself with added competition coming off the bench since Boston traded for Jerryd Bayless.

But in many ways, Crawford has the advantage. For starters, there's his shear ability to score points in a variety of ways.

Bayless has a similar skill and like Crawford, he too can play some at point guard.

While his minutes will be cut, Crawford has done plenty since Rondo has been out to prove himself as a viable option for Stevens to turn to going forward.

"It was good to show what I could do, for the time that I got," Crawford said. "I just want to stay consistent when Rondo comes back. That's a big player that we need. We need that wisdom he (has), leadership, another playmaker to make it easy on me and get easier shots for me and other players on the team. It's great to have him."

Crawford speaks of Rondo's return from the perspective of a player who has already navigated the choppy waters that arise when an injured player returns to the lineup, as well as how to handle lots of losses.

Although his minutes will drop, Rondo's return will help him in many facets of the game.

"I'm very excited," Crawford said. "To go into every game and try to create for yourself, it gets tough. It's definitely going to help me and help the team. I'm excited to play with him."

The same could not be said when he was with the Washington Wizards and he found himself in a less-than-ideal bench role after John Wall returned from an injury.

Not only was he not starting anymore, but now it appeared as though he wouldn't be seeing any playing time as Crawford morphed into an end-of-the-bench player who sulked at times about his situation.

Crawford didn't handle that situation as well as he could have, but adds that having gone through that and being traded by Atlanta earlier, helped him better deal with his current plight.

"Got experience in both ways," Crawford said. "With players coming back and getting limited role and also going through a tough stretch like a nine-game losing streak."

Prior to the Boston Celtics trading for Crawford at the 2012 trading deadline, he was part of a Washington team that began the season with 12 straight losses.

"Just keep everybody positive is the main thing, keep us close and we're going to get through this tough stretch."