After shedding his reputation as a selfish gunner in Atlanta, and winning the Sixth Man of the Year Award in the process, Jamal Crawford will return to Philips Arena for the first time since signing with the Portland Trail Blazers in the off-season.
The 6'6 185 bench scorer has slipped into a similar role in Portland, averaging 12.0 points and 3.2 assists on 34.2% shooting as a second-unit shot creator for the Trail Blazers.
Much like in Atlanta, Crawford is part of a balanced scoring attack behind All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge, as five Trail Blazers -- Crawford, Gerald Wallace, Wesley Matthews, Nic Batum and Ray Felton -- all average between 10 and 15 points a night.
The Hawks bench, meanwhile, has thrived without Crawford thanks to the under-the-radar signings of several savvy veterans -- Tracy McGrady, Vladimir Radmanovic, Willie Green and Ivan Johnson.
Portland and Atlanta are two of the deepest teams in the NBA, which may be why they are two of the league's biggest surprises as well, as the compressed 66-game regular season has made bench depth vital this season.