Spurs Crush Clippers In Game 3: The 5 Things We Learned

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Jamal Crawford has to get hot again

April 22, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Jamal Crawford (11) shoots against the defense of San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) during the first half in game two of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Jamal Crawford had a great shooting night in game one (making 7-0f-10 shots for 17 points) but game three showed the streakier side of his game.

He finished with only 5 points and missed 10 of his 11 shots. Even Austin Rivers managed to outscore Crawford with his 11 point night. In Crawford’s defense, he still hasn’t played that many games since returning, after missing nearly all of March with a calf injury. However, if Crawford can have more nights like game one, where he’s able to use his smooth pull-ups and quick handles to wriggle through the Spurs’ defense, the Clippers’ chances of winning this series greatly improve.

Not just because Crawford can heat up so quickly and his crossovers are good enough to even leave Kawhi clueless, but because the Clippers’ bench is their glaring Achilles heel. The only man who can give them any kind of significant production from their second unit is Crawford.

In game three, the entire Clippers’ bench collectively shot a dismal 11-of-30 from the field. And even though Crawford may account for a large amount of that, it still says a lot about L.A.’s worrying lack of depth and second unit reassurance when their starters aren’t always able to score 80 points by themselves.

No matter how much we worry about the Clippers’ bench, though, it still won’t save the series and make Glen Davis transform into a chubby black version of Blake Griffin.

Maybe then the Clippers would be 2-1 right now.

Outlandish hypotheticals aside, though, let’s just wait and see if Crawford can get hot tonight and make up for game three.