Crawford's game from beyond the arc taking off

Crawford's game from beyond the arc taking off
December 10, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Jordan Crawford has filled in nicely at point guard for Rajon Rondo.

(AP Photo)

NEW YORK — This past week -- scratch that -- this entire season has been one in which Jordan Crawford is doing what he normally does, only better.

Among his improvements have been his three-point shooting in terms of both accuracy and volume. It was a big reason the 6-foot-4 guard was named the Eastern Conference player of the week for the first time in his career.

"I took advantage of mismatches," Crawford said. "A point guard always has the ball, so it's easy to get a rhythm. You want to get your teammates a rhythm. That's very important."

Indeed, the fourth-year guard has played a strong all-around game, but it has been his three-point shooting that has taken off recently.

In Boston's last five games, he has taken 6.6 threes per game, connecting at a crisp 42.4 percent. Prior to that, he took 2.9 three-pointers per game while shooting 38.8 percent.

Crawford's perimeter shooting has opened things up for a Celtics offense that has shown dramatic improvement over that span of time.

In the last five games, Boston has averaged 103.2 points per game which is the sixth-highest average over that period of time. This season, the Celtics rank 22nd in scoring with a 95.2 points per game average.

Several players have contributed to the improved play of the Celtics lately, including Crawford who has drawn rave reviews from many -- including the man he's filling in for, Rajon Rondo.

"A lot of people had probably negative things to say about Jordan at the beginning of the year," said Rondo prior to the Celtics' morning shoot-around at Baruch College. "He's been nothing but a great teammate. Guys like playing with him. He's leading this team right now. He's doing what he has to do, to make things go."