Jamal Crawford says Doc Rivers taught him the importance of defense

Jamal Crawford, a 14-year pro, says Doc Rivers taught him the importance of defense

Jamal Crawford is a silky smooth shooter, a brilliant crossover specialist.

But up until recently, the reigning sixth man of the year has had a major hole in his game -- defense.

"Offense was my defense," Crawford said. "I figured I was one of the best offensive players and I could outscore the guy I'm guarding."

That mentality did not work for defensive-minded Clippers' Coach Doc Rivers, who worked with Crawford last season to shift his mind-set. Crawford said the coach taught him that he didn't have to be a one-trick pony, that he could be a complete player.

"Now I look at it differently," Crawford said. "I care and I want to be a better all-round player."

Rivers said that Crawford's change of heart has been very important to the success of the team.

"He's got to be a two-way player and he's become that," Rivers said. "That gives us trust in him late in the games, you can keep him on the floor. He's been fantastic."

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