[NOTE: Truth About It.net 2011-12 Player Reviews continue, where we take a look at the past, present and future of those players who have touched the Wizards franchise during the 2011-12 lockout-shortened season. Today, we go with yesterday's replacement, who is today's Jordan Crawford. TAI's Ryan Gracia, Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie take a look at Jordan's sophomore NBA season. -Kyle W.]
Player Review Index: Morris Almond (we’d like to) | Andray Blatche | Trevor Booker | Brian Cook (maybe) | Jordan Crawford | Maurice Evans | Rashard Lewis | Shelvin Mack | Cartier Martin | Roger Mason Jr. | JaVale McGee | Nenê | Kevin Seraphin (coming soon) | Chris Singleton | James Singleton | Ronny Turiaf (meh) | Edwin Ubiles (we’ll see) | Jan Vesely | John Wall | Nick Young
Jordan Crawford: DC Council Ratings
In 32 starts with the Wizards: 1.35 average Stars out of 3
(Crawford received 33 of 96 possible ‘sub of the game’ nominations in his 32 games off the bench; To note, Nick Young averaged 1.26 Stars out of 3 in his 32 starts.)
Best Game: Mar. 3, 2012 – Game 36 vs Cleveland Cavaliers
Worst Game(s): Dec. 28, 2011 – Game 2 at Atlanta Hawks
Jordan Crawford started the last 17 games of the 2010-11 season and averaged 20 points and 4.9 assists, making a strong case for the starting 2-guard job heading into 2011-12. He started the first two games of this season, but was then quickly cast aside as soon as Nick Young, fresh off accepting the Wizards’ qualifying offer, got his basketball legs under him. As the Wizards’ season continued to spiral downward, and after Nick played poorly in Milwaukee on the last day of February, Crawford was re-inserted back into the starting lineup for the remainder of the year (he averaged 16.4 points and 3.0 assists in 32 total starts). Now, his starting position seems just as uncertain as it was at this time last year.
To Crawford’s credit, there were plenty of games this season when he was the one of the few Wizards who could generate consistent offense (John Wall was the other). In the Wizards’ March 3 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers, Crawford did his best Gilbert Arenas/Nick Young impression by scoring early and often, taking most of his shots with a ridiculously high-degree of difficulty. Against the New Jersey Nets on March 21, Crawford toned it down a bit and turned in an efficient 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting in just 27 minutes. And then there was the game in Charlotte (when he was still coming off the bench) where he only scored 12 points but dished out seven assists. Games like these made it easy to imagine a Wall-Crawford background for years to come.
But unfortunately, when Crawford was off, he seemed to be a liability. He was not a particularly adept defender, and at 6-foot-3, he struggled against bigger guards. There were too many occasions when Crawford would launch an ill-advised shot before the play could develop. There were others when he waved off Wall (who would be calling for the ball) to call his own number, which would usually result in frantic offense. But that’s the risk the Wizards took with Crawford: when on, he could be unstoppable; when off, fantasies about Bradley Beal or Michael Kidd-Gilchrist began. When Crawford was leading the Wizards to one of their few victories, he seemed to justify Wittman’s decision to start him, and when he shot the Wizards out of games, it seemed he, and the team, would be better served with him coming off the bench.
-Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)
Two words: Shot selection. If J-Craw can clean up this part of his game, he can be a reliable contributor to this ball club next season while minimizing the stress he can put on fans, teammates and coaches when he jacks with reckless abandon. He’s on the books for two more seasons (assuming the Wizards pick up their $2.16 million team option on Crawford’s rookie contract for 2013-14) before he, potentially, enters restricted free agency in the summer of 2014.
The ability to create instant offense as a starter or off the bench, combined with the ability to dish the ball to open teammates (sometimes, when all other options have failed), makes Crawford a slightly better version of Nick Young. Via Basketball-Reference.com, J-Craw averaged 3.9 assists per 36 minutes, compared to the 1.4 assists that Young averaged per 36 as a Wizard (and the 0.7 he has averaged with L.A.). Crawford also put up an assist percentage of 19.3 this past season, Young’s assist percentage was at a lowly 6.8-percent with the Wizards.
Even with all the issues about his shot selection throughout the season, interestingly enough, Crawford did increase his field goal shooting to 40-percent, up from 38-percent as a rookie (his 3-point shooting went from 25.8-percent to 28.9-percent). This should put into perspective the type of shooter he can be if he puts some work into understanding when to take chances and when to use vision to find a better option for himself or a teammate. Crawford has the ability to find the open man, but sometimes seemed to be influenced into hogging the ball by his peers, McGee and Young. A slight change occurred with Nene’s arrival – and the unselfishness which came with him – in that Crawford, too, was willing to make the necessary pass for a better shot.
Overall, J-Craw’s issues are nothing that a little offseason learning can’t fix.
-Ryan Gracia (@rgracia2378)
In some senses, Jordan Crawford’s foray into the Wizards’ shooting guard spot comes with very relaxed expectations… easy peasy. Think of the “off” guards who have infiltrated Washington’s roster in the last decade — Nick Young, Larry Hughes, DeShawn Stevenson, Juan Dixon, Roger Mason, Randy Foye, Jerry Stackhouse, etc. I could go on, but this exercise is quite terrible; check a more full listing of guard ne’er do wells at Basketball-Reference.com, if you are so inclined.
Then again, the fact that the franchise is yearning for some competency at shooting guard magnifies the scrutiny. [Shooters! Where are the shooters?!?! scream the roster vocal chords...] And well, thus far the 23-year old NBA soph hasn’t proven to be the best pairing with John Wall, but rather, has only increased the angst of Wizards fans with his shot selection, while occasionally dazzling with big-time performances and potent quotables. We’ve seen this before.
But life is about fair chances, and like many before him, Crawford will get his. So maybe it is about what Crawford can do compared to Nick Young. He’s a better passer, this we know. Crawford is also a better rebounder, his 6-foot-4 frame able to pull down 3.8 boards per 36 minutes, compared to 3.2 per 36 from Young’s 6-foot-7 frame. There is, however, one disturbing trend: 53.3-percent of Nick Young’s made field goals in Washington this season were assisted by a teammate; for Crawford, a mere 38.7-percent.
Jordan Crawford’s future, ideally, involves less Jordan Crawford. Not to say he can’t be of benefit to the Wizards, but it’s clear that the team’s No. 1 focus this offseason will be acquiring a wing scorer (or two). Crawford has seen plenty of action to develop during his brief tenure with Washington. Going forward, there will be more competition and more accountability at his position. Jordan will get his chance to shine, but his ability to sink or swim won’t be determined by him and him only. There will be other kids, and perhaps adults even, in the pool, too.
-Kyle Weidie (@Truth_About_It)
JORDAN LIKES TO JAW
There were two memorable Jordan Crawford moments this year. The first was Crawford’s explanation of a brief, heated exchange between himself and Paul Pierce during a Celtics victory over the Wizards on January 22.
The second was after the Wizards beat the Milwaukee Bucks, thanks to Crawford’s yeoman effort, despite a bum ankle. Let’s watch:
-Rashad Mobley (@Rashad20)
GRADE JORDAN CRAWFORD
A FULL YEAR WITH JORDAN
WHO’S GONNA SCORE?
Styling next to a painting… No biggie.
(courtesy of the inter-webs)
“Ima cool brotha so I gotta keep me a cool white boy” -@JCraw55
Who doesn’t like making cake in the canal?
Because that’s how it always go…