Jordan Crawford: Turning Ankles and Corners, 'That's How It Always Go' | Wizards Blog Truth About

Jordan Crawford: Turning Ankles and Corners, 'That's How It Always Go'

Updated: April 23, 2012

Long after last Wednesday’s win over the Milwaukee Bucks, Jordan Crawford remained in the training room. He likely knew the microphones waited for him to speak, but couldn’t do anything about it. A throbbing ankle spoke louder. Meanwhile, assorted media members squatted around his locker, eager to record the shooting guard’s comments after his big 32-point, 11-for-17 shooting performance in Washington’s 121-112 victory over the Bucks. When he finally emerged, Crawford gingerly limped over to his stall; he could barely put any pressure on his right ankle. He looked more like a man who would struggle moving to the right on a Metro escalator without falling down than one who just significantly diminished the hopes of a playoff contending team, including burying Milwaukee with a Agent Zero-esque 30-foot dagger to put the Wizards up six points with 50 seconds left.

Mo Evans argued that the sprained ankle, which afflicted Crawford from the opening tip, was actually beneficial:

“I think the ankle injury helped him because he slowed down, took his time and utilized all the many skills that he has; he has a ton of them. He was extremely effective tonight.”

Coach Randy Wittman expressed sentiments on Jordan’s decisive 3-point make:

“Maybe it was a good thing that his ankle was hurting him, because then he didn’t try to put his head down and drive and get into trouble.”

James Singleton said he explained to potential benefits of having a bum ankle to Crawford:

“I was messing with him earlier. He already has a nice hesitation, but now he has a hurt ankle, so it makes the hesitation a little bit better for him, so it might work for him.”

Cartier Martin admitted the injury might have calmed Jordan a bit and was impressed with the gutty showing:

“It just goes to show what this league is all about, guys coming in, playing hurt and still getting the job done. I do not know too many people sitting at home watching this game that could actually come in and give you 30 points on a hurt ankle at this level. Jordan played well tonight.”

Crawford has provided a litany of unique quotes this season: from calling the Xaxier-Cincinnati rivalry “uncut,” compared to the “commercial” UNC-Duke rivalry; to saying how he doesn’t smile after buckets, because he has been getting them since he popped out [of the womb]; to revealing that he usually gets rid of his “shorties” around Valentine’s Day. Crawford did not disappoint in his answer about his 3-point dagger:

“Felt like I could make it, so I shot the shot, that is how it always goes … I could kind of see that it had a chance, it went it, lucky for me.”

Crawford agreed that his ankle helped him concentrate:

“I think it helped me focus more. On certain things, I was scared to do … I wanted to play, if I was going to play, I didn’t want to make any excuses.”

The overly confident East Detroit native has been the target of fan ire for much of the season because of shaky decision-making and erratic, high volume shooting. He tends to over-dribble, put himself in dicey situations and avoid contact on his drives with fancy moves instead of bracing for contact and attempting to draw fouls. Crawford is good for a few “Why did you do that?!” reactions every game. However, he often competes hard, possesses a ‘won’t back down’ attitude and is one of the few players on the Wizards who can create his own shot off the bounce. Only Crawford’s huge outing during Washington’s Valentine Day’s massacre in Portland could rival the dazzling show he put on for the home fans against the Bucks.

A feature of the Wizards’ rebuilding experiment has been the ability to give young players minutes, providing them the opportunity to improve on a trial-by-fire basis. In the absence of playoff contention, management is using this time to evaluate which players will continue to be part of a future nucleus with the ultimate goal of competing for championships. Kevin Seraphin’s talents have blossomed in 18 starts (54 total games), but also, Chris Singleton’s shortcomings have been exposed in 48 starts (63 games). Crawford falls into this category as well, starting 31 of 63 games at the 2 guard spot with the benefit, to him at least, of really having no leash from the coaching staff, especially in Nick Young’s absence.

Will Jordan be able to build off late-season efforts like the one against Milwaukee, or will he regress back to his well documented bad habits? Has a light bulb gone off that slowing down could pay dividends for his NBA career? He had a poor 2-for-14 shooting night versus the Heat on Saturday; toward the end, his efforts teetered between earnest and detrimentally brazen. The Wizards still won.

Over these final three games, pay close to attention to how Crawford ends his season. His Effective Field Goal Percentage going from 41.6-percent in January to 46.6 in February to 46.0 in March to 44.5 in April may tell one story. Crawford going 42-for-72 (58.3%) in shots from inside five feet over the last 16 games (2.6 for 4.5 per game), compared to 111-for-204 (54.4%) in 63 games on the season (1.8 for 3.2 per game) tells another story. Balling on a bad ankle tells yet another. Slated to make $1.2 million in third year of his rookie contract next season, the Wizards will certainly continue to get bang for their buck. Question is, will Crawford’s effort in this season of diminishing returns mean improvement for 2012-13 and beyond. For him to stick, it can’t always go like this, it’s got to get better.

Jordan Crawford: That's How It Always Go - via @wzzntzz

[via @wzzntzz]


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Adam McGinnis
Reporter / Writer / Media at TAI
Adam is a bro from the Midwest who's been bopping around the District of Columbia for years. He's down with a range of sports, etc. and has covered the Washington Wizards for TAI since 2010.

  • P Kumar

    Nice Post

  • DS

    Great post. Trying to think of a playoff team with a starting SG like Crawford — there isn’t one, because playoff teams don’t have undersized shot-jacking starting SGs with limited awareness of the game around them.

    If he’s not the long-term solution at SG (and he’s not), then the basic problem of finding a stable long-term solution at SG is compounded by Crawford’s self-admittedly terrible attitude about coming off the bench. (In other words, he’s not even capable of becoming a poor man’s Louis Williams, let alone a poor man’s James Harden — comparing the two is an insult to Harden.)

    I’ll bet if Ernie (or whoever) asked around, he would run into the same problem he did with Blatche — no one wants a 6-3 shooting guard who shoots too much (and too many bad shots) and thinks any spot but starting is beneath him.

    We have already entered the post-Kobe era in the NBA where your SG doesn’t have to be a ball-dominant team-leading scorer, and yet that’s what we seem to be stuck with. I have so little faith in Crawford to accept a limited, team-centric role off the bench, I hope we can trade him away for a 2nd-round pick this summer.

    But, to your credit, you present a fair post above.

  • Adam McGinnis

    I have serious doubts if Jordan and Wall are duo that can produce sustained winning NBA basketball. I do vaguely remember those starting quotes but I do not know if it is a fair characterization to say that he would never come off the bench or has a team destructive attitude about it. I do agree with your SG theory and NBA today seems to be more about versatile wings and PGs.

    JCraw’s bad shots obviously drive me crazy but to defend, Jordan, the Wizards “Hawk” offense is oriented on creating long twos, mostly through him and there are many times the ball is thrown to Jordan with the shot clock winding down. He is also a young with this only being his second season in NBA and I am just hoping that he maybe is learning from his mistakes to become a better all around player.

    The frustrating aspect of Crawford’s game is that he really can pass and has excellent court vision, which is often over looked because some of his shot attempts are so egregious. He tends to over think his moves.

    I do see Jordan’s future role in this league as a Super Sub type and maybe the Wizards could trade him this summer although having him on team at 1.2 mill is pretty decent value.

  • Adam McGinnis

    thanks for your comment DS

  • DS…

    I’m with you in that Crawford is not starting material, but I have a little more confidence in him learning how to play under control, which is also measured by his ability to hit wild, good shots.

    His starting/bench splits are pretty much the same… that tells me that he’s not a fragile, Nick Young-type of player who’s worried about style. Although Crawford does have style, he’s more of a baller… it’s more in his blood than it is in a guy like Young.

    How much of the anti-Crawford argument is about playing under control? Because if that’s 70% or more of the issue, give him a chance… it’s his second year in the NBA… it’s easier for instinctual players like him to acquire control.

    All of this being said, shooting guard should be the #1 priority this summer. I’ve be happy with Beal in the draft… because, face it, that’s exactly who the Wiz will get… not Anthony Davis.