Thursday, February 28, 2013
Crawford still adjusting to Celtics
By Greg Payne
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Jordan Crawford got his first taste of a Boston Celtics practice Thursday afternoon, which he hopes will be a big step toward adjusting to his new surroundings.
Crawford was traded to the Celtics a week ago in exchange for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins, but was immediately thrust into action during the team’s brutal five-games-in-seven-nights road stretch. The time on the road gave Crawford the chance to spend time with his new teammates, but when the club returned home following Monday's 110-107 overtime win against the Utah Jazz, his focus turned toward learning his new system.
"It's going good, just adjusting," Crawford said of his first week prior to Thursday's practice. "They're embracing me, telling me to be myself and just embracing me overall and that's the best part."
Coach Doc Rivers gave his team Tuesday and Wednesday off to recuperate following the road stint, but Crawford was one of several players who showed up at the team's practice facility to put in extra work.
Asked what he worked on during that time, Crawford offered: "Just adjusting to how they play, their strategies on both ends and looking to come help this team win."
Boston acquired Crawford with the hope he would provide an offensive spark off the bench and help fill the scoring void left by Barbosa, who was lost for the season with a torn left ACL. Though he managed 10 points in 17 minutes in his debut against the Phoenix Suns last Friday, in the two games since, Crawford has scored just two points.
Rivers, who played Crawford less than five minutes in Monday's win over Utah, said he wants his new guard to remain aggressive in seeking out his own shot.
"That’s what we’re hoping, that he becomes the wild card, a Barbosa in a lot of ways," Rivers said Thursday. "When he came in, you knew what he was going to do. We want to do that with Jordan. I think Jordan right now, his conscience is too good. You can see him coming in, trying to be a ball mover and that’s not really what he’s been and I don’t really want him to be that much. I want him to be an aggressive scorer, but I like the fact that he’s trying to fit in."
Crawford is trying to make the adjustment as seamless as possible. Coming from a losing team that had no hopes of making the playoffs, he knows he needs to pick things up quickly if he wants to play a role in Boston's push for the postseason.
"It's a wake-up call, no time to adjust," Crawford said of being traded to a playoff team. "You want to come in and help them right away. You don't want to have a period where you're adjusting and trying to fit in. You just want to come in and help them right away."
Crawford isn't more concerned with one particular side of the ball.
"Just coming in getting comfortable with the system, I think that's the most important thing," Crawford said. "Learn how they play and just know how they go about it every day."