first_imgSaturday while Crawford was hunting makes, trying to put together a good night from the field, the ball got passed to him near half court with just seconds left on the shot clock.He was forced to heave the ball to the basket for another miss.Then, it happened again, causing his coach, Doc Rivers, to just shake his head.“That’s the way it happens, I swear. When you struggle — I’ve been through it — it just feels like the ball ends up in your hands with one second. It just won’t stop,” Rivers said. “In a week or two weeks whenever he exorcizes this, he’ll laugh about it. But right now, it’s not funny.”Rivers said he’d almost preferred Crawford throw the ball in the opposite direction then to see another shot come up empty.Crawford is doing everything he can to shake out of the slump.After a 1-for-9 matinee win over the Lakers, he went back into the gym that night for more shots. He was quick out of the locker room Saturday to take more shots before the start of the third quarter.Just right now, it’s not working.“He’ll get through it, but it happens,” Rivers said. “I’ve seen it happen to the best. And, it’s no fun to go through. You know he hasn’t forgotten how to shoot or play. He just needs a couple to go in for him.”It does, indeed, happen. Since Crawford’s slump began, Kevin Love, for instance, is hitting only 35 percent of his shots.Playing without Chris Paul and Blake Griffin hasn’t made this easier, either. Crawford admitted that he’d love to be helping carry hat burden.“It’d be nice to put the cape on,” he said.But right now, it’s just not happening. With the ball not falling, he’s had to try and find other ways to help. In eight of the last 12 games, he’s had at least four assists, including seven in the loss to the Nuggets. His two best rebounding performances (as well as his two best assist outputs) have come during the last 12 games, too.“It’s testing me,” Crawford admitted. “But, I have faith. I trust the work I’ve put in, and I’ve got faith.”And, his teammates do too.Asked if he was “feeling” for Crawford as he’s gone through this rough stretch, Clipper center DeAndre Jordan fired back.“Hell no. Why would I feel for someone who’s got 17,000 points?” Jordan said. “He knows how to score the basketball. He’s just in a slump right now. Scorers go through slumps. If I’m over here feeling sorry for him, then he’s going to feel sorry for himself. Jamal, he knows how to score.“He’s just in a little funk right now, but he’ll get out of it. When he gets out of it, I’ll feel sorry for whoever is guarding him.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error DENVER >> You’ve seen it in how Jamal Crawford moves.The way the ball bounced from his hand between his legs, the way he’s shifted from left to right, the fluidity in how he’s flipped from standing to shooting, it’s all a blink slower than usual.It’s not anything physical. The problem, Crawford said, is mental.“You’re your own best defender,” he said after the Clippers’ loss Saturday to the Nuggets. “That’s kind of what’s going on now. “center_img Crawford’s stuck in the worst stretch of his season, a 12-game lull where shots have rattled in and bounced out, where it’s felt like he’s throwing a bowling ball into an earring. And, it’s been rough.A player known for taking and making the toughest shots, for ignoring the misses, Crawford’s currently feeling the frustration of a slump.“When you’re thinking about them, you’ve already missed them,” he said of shots. “… When you try to play perfect, you play passive. Anyone who has seen me play for the last 17 years knows that’s low on my totem pole. I never play passive. When I start doing that, it’s like ‘OK, I’m thinking too much.’”In the last 12 games, Crawford’s shooting just 25.4 percent from the field and 13.9 percent from 3-point range, an astounding number considering he’s made 1,983 of them in his career. Jason Terry, Paul Pierce and Vince Carter are the only active players who have made more.But the history doesn’t matter in a slump — not when seemingly everything is working against you.last_img

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