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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."

Follow Melissa Rohlin on Twitter @melissarohlin


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