LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Jamal Crawford and J.J. Redick weren't strangers before the Clippers opened training camp. They had been dueling on and off since Redick entered the league in 2006.
In January 2011, they went after each other in a game in Portland, where Redick and the Orlando Magic pulled off a 107-104 win. Redick scored 17 and Crawford had 24.
Thursday at UC San Diego, Redick remembered that game and his struggles trying to stop Crawford.
"It was one of those plays. He went crossover, crossover. Fantastic defense (from me), but better offense," he said.
Redick paused and clarified.
"OK, maybe not fantastic defense," he said.
It's easier to laugh about trying to stop Crawford now that the two are teammates.
In Redick and Crawford, Coach Doc Rivers and the Clippers have depth at shooting guard and diverse options in how to attack defenses.
"He's a very unique player with his ability to create for himself off the dribble," Redick said of his new teammate. "There are very few guys like him."
Crawford, in turn, praised Redick's spot-up shooting and movement off the ball.
"J.J.'s a great shooter, one of the best in the league," Crawford said. "Whenever you have him on the court, it takes away a defender because you can't help off of him."
Redick should benefit from the Clippers' move to a motion offense as his ability to work off screens has frustrated defenders across the NBA.
But Crawford has impressed Rivers with his ability to do the same, something he has not done much of in his career.
"He's terrific coming off of picks without the ball," Rivers said. "He's a catch-and-shoot guy as well. I didn't know that, and now I know."
Crawford said he has worked on adding things like that to his game each offseason, but he's still the guy who can fake defenders with lightning-quick moves.
Rivers doesn't want him to lose that. He just wants other things, too.
"I want him to be Jamal Crawford. I don't want anything less. I want more. I want more Jamal Crawford. I want more offense and a little more defense," Rivers said. "What we've told Jamal is that we don't expect him to ever be a great individual player defensively, but he can be a great team defender. He's been doing that."
Redick and Crawford could spend some time on the court together this season if the matchups are right, but until then, they will be trying to outduel each other in practice -- just like that night in Portland.
"I think it'll be good. I always enjoy competition. I think going against him every day and him going against me, we'll make each other better," Redick said. "But he needs to come over and guard me some. He keeps putting Matt Barnes on me.
"I'm calling Jamal out."
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