Doc Rivers Says Jordan Crawford’s Confidence Is Biggest Strength, Weakness in Coming to Celtics

Jordan CrawfordAfter all the hype and drama going into Thursday’s trade deadline, the Celtics settled for a piece to their 2013 puzzle instead of putting in two of their Big Three chips.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge wanted a little boost for his roster, but he didn’t have much to offer or cap space to work with. Eventually, he spotted his man: Jordan Crawford.

Crawford, who was acquired from the Washington Wizards for Leandro Barbosa‘s expiring contract and Jason Collins, was averaging 13.2 points, 3.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds a game this year before falling out of favor in Washington. It’s that raw talent, and another quality that Doc Rivers noticed, that has the Celtics coach thinking Crawford could work out in Boston.

“The good thing and the bad thing I hear about him is his confidence,” Rivers said. “You rarely say that, but it’s tough for him there to buy into a role because he looked at himself as, ‘I’m better than them.’ I’m hoping that we don’t have that issue here. Obviously if we do, then it will be a problem.”

The 24-year-old guard has the ability to score with ease, but his defensive tactics need a little tuning up. With the Celtics, defense is always preached first.

“He hasn’t been a great defender, but he’s an athlete,” Rivers said. “I always look at an athlete [as], if you’re an athlete, then you can be a defender. That’s one thing I’ve always had no problem with. If you’re not an athlete, that’s an issue. But if you are an athlete, then you can beat people off the dribble and you can hold people from beating you off the dribble.”

Crawford will be in uniform against the Phoenix Suns on Friday, but with limited practice, he may have to wait for his chance to shine.

Photo via Facebook/Washington Wizards

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