Jamal Crawford says San Antonio Spurs were the toughest team he faced in the playoffs
By Dylan Carter
In a response to former San Antonio Spurs center Tiago Splitter on Twitter, NBA veteran Jamal Crawford praised the team for their historic postseason play.
We’ve seen countless duels between the Lob City LA Clippers and the San Antonio Spurs as two titans that clashed for stability in a heated Western Conference. For five seasons, those Clippers were levied by perennial Sixth Man of the Year contender, Jamal Crawford.
Known for his historically great handles and shot creation abilities, Jamal “Crossover,” as he’s endearingly called by fans was a lot for the Spurs to handle. Between his shifty ball-handling, underrated passing and team-first mentality, Crawford was one of the only Sixth Men who had a legitimate case to make against the great Manu Ginobili as the game’s best bench player during that span in its entirety.
Crawford had an interaction on social media with former starting center Tiago Splitter on Thursday night after Splitter quote tweeted Crawford’s response to a highlight reel from Lob City. It was nothing but respect from two players who dueled at the height of their primes, battling in the playoffs and regular season with teams led by star talent.
–Your guys Spurs team was still the best team I ever faced in the playoffs.
— ? Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 24, 2020
The Clippers signed Crawford in the summer of 2012 after being devastatingly swept by the Spurs. Just three years later, the Clippers got their playoff revenge by taking down San Antonio during the closing moments of Game Seven of the 2015 NBA Playoffs. It was a hard-fought set of games that’ll go down in the history as one of the best playoff series of the 2010s.
San Antonio did a great job of limiting Crawford’s output in that series, holding him to just 11.7 points per game on 38.4 percent from the field and 20 percent from three-point range. That had a lot to do with the dynamic defensive duo of Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green, who locked up the wing and forced the Clippers to run into the paint or let All-NBA point guard Chris Paul create offense for either himself or others.
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Paul was elite in the series and put it away with a high-arching floater over Tim Duncan late in Game Seven. However, both Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili had their output limited in the series, which was their ultimate downfall. Duncan and Leonard were great, but Blake Griffin dunked on Aron Baynes… a lot… and kind of demoralized San Antonio in the process.
It’d have been a lot more fun to look back on if the Spurs won, so fans won’t be watching the tape on this one any time soon, but it was an extremely hard-fought series that’ll assuredly show up on NBA TV periodically over time.
Though he hasn’t officially retired, Crawford is floating around the free-agent pool waiting for an opportunity to play hoops again. He has a close relationship with Spurs starting point guard Dejounte Murray as two of the finest hoopers to come from Seattle, WA and might be someone to consider as a veteran bench player if the team goes all-in on the youth and needs to fill a roster spot with someone wise and worthy.
After all, Crawford dropped 51 points in the last game of the 2018-19 season for the Phoenix Suns before getting ousted from the league. His playstyle is timeless, so I’m confident that J-Crossover is still a walking bucket.