Jamal Crawford: J.J. Redick and I are 'best shooting-guard tandem'

Jamal Crawford: J.J. Redick and I are 'best shooting-guard tandem'
Clippers guard Jamal Crawford, left, and teammate J.J. Redick pose for a photo during the team's 2013 media day. Crawford and Redick have performed well in recent games. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

When Blake Griffin had surgery Feb. 9 to remove a staph infection from his right elbow, the Clippers had a big hole to fill.

Specifically, a hole the size of 22.5 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.


Luckily for the Clippers, two of the team's top shooters picked quite an opportune time to both be simultaneously rolling.

In the team's last four wins before Monday's loss to the Memphis Grizzlies, starting shooting guard J.J. Redick has averaged 18.5 points a game and reserve shooting guard Jamal Crawford has averaged 22.8 points a game. That means the two shooting guards combined for an average of 41 points a game over that stretch.

On the season, Redick is averaging 14.6 points and Crawford is averaging 16.3 points, or a combined 30.9 points a game, which is a 10-point dip from what they averaged from Feb. 9 through Feb. 21.

"I think it was just a matter of time for me and J.J., honestly," Crawford said. "We've talked about it, we feel like we're the best shooting-guard tandem in the league, and when we both play well together, it's a good option for us."

During their recent winning streak, Redick and Jamal have averaged 17.5 minutes on the court together, compared to their season average of 9.8 shared minutes.

"We talked about that way before the beginning of the season because one of us would have a good game and the other one wouldn't," Crawford said. "Now we're both going together, and I think we're dangerous that way."

Neither Redick nor Crawford played particularly well during Monday's 90-87 loss to the Grizzlies. Redick had eight points on three for 12 shooting and Crawford had 15 points on four for 15 shooting.

But Clippers Coach Doc Rivers said that when Redick and Crawford are shooting well, something important happens for the team.

"When they're both scoring and that means they're both shooting the ball well from the outside, that means that we're going to get to the paint," Rivers said. "It's funny how things work."

Crawford said that he and Redick can play so well together because they're both what he called "high character guys."

"I want him to be successful and he wants me to be successful," Crawford said. "We help each other out, we cover for each other. I think we have a great relationship. We talked about last year at the end of the season, I think that's one of the good things that came out of last year is our relationship and how it developed."