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Palmer: Former Blazers G Jamal Crawford Reflects On Offensive Role In Portland

Former Portland Trail Blazers guard Jamal Crawford reflects on his role with the team.


Chris Palmer of has written a piece based on a ride to practice with Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, who spent the 2011-12 season with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Their conversation turns to Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and how he would fare under San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Crawford turns the discussion into a reflection on his time with the Blazers.

"A lot of success is about situation," Crawford continues. "How much do you think Steph would average under Gregg Popovich?

"At least 22 a game."

"You think he'd average 22? No way. Uh-huh."

"He's going to take at least 16 shots per game and shoot 45 percent," I explain. "What coach would have the best shooter in the NBA shoot less than 16 times?"

"I've seen worse situations," says Crawford. "Last year [in Portland] I was used as a point guard and I ain't nowhere near a point guard. Like I said, I've seen worse."

Crawford briefly started at point guard in February 2012 because Raymond Felton was melting down. At the time, Crawford said the right things about the switch.

Crawford, for his part, tried to say all the right things about stepping in as the starting point guard, but his tone didn't make the lineup change sound like a particularly permanent thing.

"That's a tough question," Crawford said before the game, when asked what McMillan hoped to see from him that Felton hadn't provided. "I honestly don't know. I pride myself on being a professional. I'm probably more of a 2/1 combo guard but I pride myself on being a professional either way, no matter what it is."

For those concerned about Crawford's ability to run a team full-time, he offered this humorous historical perspective, plus some statistical evidence. "I actually won a state championship in high school as a point guard," he said. "[I averaged] 23 [points]. I could have scored more. I dumbed down my scoring so I could average more assists. I averaged 11 assists actually."

Blazers coach Nate McMillan was fired in March 2012. Crawford was accused of starting a "mutiny" against McMillan. He denied it.

The Clippers were eliminated from the 2013 NBA playoffs by the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday night.

-- Ben Golliver | | Twitter