Clippers’ Jamal Crawford happy to stay after NBA trading deadline

first_img“Yeah, I saw it,” Crawford said. “The fans are unbelievable. The fans truly are unbelievable. I mean, when I’m in the game and I see that one person that has No. 11 on and the one person that’s rooting for me, that’s the thing you kind of, not kind of, but … not that you necessarily play for it but, you know what I mean? It’s like, you really appreciate it.”Rivers candidly talks defenseClippers coach Doc Rivers typically practices diplomacy when talking about his team. Certainly, he’s no Phil Jackson, who was quite the opposite during his coaching days with the Lakers.But Rivers was very forthcoming this week when he was asked about the defensive play of his team. The Clippers in 2013-14 allowed 101 points per game, 14th in the league. This season they are allowing 100.7 points. That’s a tad less, but it ranks them 21st, tied with Toronto.Rivers believes his defense was superior in ‘13-’14. “I think we were better last year defensively,” he said. “I think we’re a better offensive team this year, but I think we’re worse defensively. And what I do like, in certain games, there has been proof that we can be a really good defensive team. And I just don’t like how inconsistent we’ve been defensively.“I don’t know if we’re overall worse or better, but I know we’re far more inconsistent defensively this year than we were last year.”Rivers pointed to the 110-95 victory on Feb. 11 over Houston as proof of his team’s defensive capabilities. The Rockets shot just 39.1 percent from the field. Even worse, the Clippers harassed them into a 9-for-45 (20 percent) performance from 3-point range. And that was without the services of the injured Blake Griffin.“They’re a great offensive team and we took their 3s away, so we’ve proven it,” Rivers said. “But we have not been consistent with it and that’s a concern.”Griffin: This is not an injuryGriffin sustained a broken left knee cap in the final game of the 2009-10 exhibition season and missed all of what was supposed to be his rookie season. He had played in all but four regular-season games the next four-plus seasons until missing the past three games with a staph infection in his right elbow that required surgery.Interestingly, Griffin doesn’t call this an injury.“That was an injury,” he said of the broken knee cap. “I wouldn’t really call this an injury. This is an unfortunate timing thing, an infection. I guess it’s a serious thing, like I said. But not really injured.“That’s kind of what hurts the most about it, having to miss time like this for that. But to miss eight, 10, 12 games is nothing compared to 82.”Griffin figures to a minimum of 12 games with this non-injury injury. When Jamal Crawford saw a group of reporters heading his way in the Clippers’ locker room before their game Thursday against San Antonio, he had some fun.“I thought I got traded,” he joked, alluding to the rush toward him as soon as the locker room was opened.Crawford, the Clippers’ valuable and popular sixth man, was again mentioned in trade rumors as the NBA trading deadline neared and passed Thursday afternoon without the Clippers making a move. It’s been a regular occurrence for Crawford during much of his fine career.More than anything, Crawford expressed appreciation at the outpouring of support he witnessed on Twitter from fans who were peeved that his name was even being mentioned.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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