The next time you see either Jamal Crawford or Danny Granger on the floor, the Clippers will have begun their quest to win a championship. According to head coach Doc Rivers, neither reserve will play for the remainder of the regular season, hoping to have them ready for the start of the NBA playoffs.
Good news: J.J. Redick is back. Bad news: Jamal Crawford and Danny Granger are out until the playoffs at least.
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 4, 2014
Here are Rivers exact words as he spoke to the media prior to the start of the Clippers five-game homestand. “Jamal is out for a while, and I think Danny is out for a while. I’d be surprised if we saw either one of them before the playoffs maybe. That’s a concern and that’s where we’re at right now.”
Hearing this news makes one wonder what condition the two are in, but with less than seven games left in the regular season there is no reason to rush either back. What matters most is that they are ready to contribute to the team when it matters most, and that’s when they’ll be readily available.
While Danny Granger has played well as a Clipper, averaging 8 points per game on 42% shooting, he isn’t nearly as important as Jamal Crawford to the club. Blake Griffin’s leap, the scoring presence Darren Collison has provided of late and J.J. Redick’s return lessens the need for Crawford to be a 20-point per game scorer every night. With that said, the team still needs him to be at his best.
A storyline that went under the radar last year was Crawford’s struggles in the postseason. After averaging 14 points on 50% shooting in the first two games against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the playoffs, Crawford averaged 9.3 points on 32% shooting in the following four games. With the team relying on his scoring ability night-in and night-out, the Clippers faced an early playoff exit.
With the two players pronounced out, we’ll keep an eye out on their progress until Rivers gives an update on the two reserves.