#WizardsRank: Jordan Crawford, No. 20, That's How It Always Go
Truth About It.net will turn a whole five years old at the end of this October.
Hard to believe/interesting. Nonetheless, over the life of the site from the 2007-08 season to 2011-12, we’ve seen/lived/suffered through 131 wins, 263 losses, four coaches, two owners, one GM/team president, one Phil Chenier mustache removal, and 56 total players (amazingly, 48 players over the last three seasons).
TAI anonymously polled 27 members of the Wizards pixel establishment — from mainstream media to new media, TAI staffers included, to a few pixel consumers (readers of the site) — and got 17 responses.
Participants were given the full list of 56 in alphabetical order, and included for each player were total games, minutes, PER (player efficiency rating), and WS/48 (win-shares per 48 minutes) only from the last five seasons. Participants were asked to rate each player on the scale of 1-to-10 according to this criteria: on court performance; off court performance; intangibles; and own personal memory. Yes, this is totally subjective, but relatively collective.
NOTE: #WizardsRank Nos. 56 to 22 have been posted and links can be found below. Now, we’ll start releasing player rankings one or so at a time. -Kyle W.
4.82 out of 10
(90 games, 2,620 minutes, 13.9 PER, .015 WS/48)
It is easy, maybe even a tad bit lazy, to call Jordan Crawford a “gunner,” a “ball hog,” or even a “ball-stopper,” after just 90 games in a Washington Wizards uniform. The more responsible course of action is to examine how the monster was created.
Crawford was delivered to the Wizards (along with Maurice Evans, the 18th pick in the 2011 draft, and two games worth of Mike Bibby) via a trade that shipped Kirk Hinrich and the $8 million he was owed for the 2011-12 season along with Hilton Armstrong to the Atlanta Hawks. Crawford appeared in just 16 of the Hawks’ 52 games and averaged 10 minutes and 4.2 points per game, which is a nice way of saying he warmed the bench. But hey, he was a rookie on a playoff team. Still, even in his first few games as a Wizard, Crawford’s boost in minutes and points (12.8 minutes and 4.5 points) were marginal at best. That would be acceptable for any other 27th pick in the NBA Draft, but perhaps not for the man who once fearlessly dunked on LeBron James.
When Andray Blatche hurt his shoulder in the first quarter of a March game against the Milwaukee Bucks, Crawford stepped in and scored 22 points in a loss (he also had a plus/minus of minus-22). A few games later, Nick Young injured his knee and Crawford was asked to fill his spot, and he did so by playing all 48 minutes and scoring 27 points. He ended up starting the next 16 games and over that span the Wizards went 7-9 (they were 23-59 that season), and Crawford posted averages of 20 points, 3.6 rebounds, 4.9 assists (to 3.1 turnovers), and 1.3 steals. The highlight of is 17-game stint as a starter was a 39-point outburst against the Miami Heat, which caused Dwyane Wade to give Crawford this backhanded compliment:
“He shot the ball well. Like I said, they were free shots. He’s a scorer, he played with a lot of heart, he’s a tough kid, but it’s a little bit different when you’re playing for something, then when you’re not. But he had a free mind, and he hit some good shoots, some big shots, so credit to him.”
In a little over a month, Crawford went from doing a Mateen Cleaves impression to starting with an endless green light to drawing the ire and attention of Dwyane Wade. For the first two games of the 2011-12 season, Crawford was the starting shooting guard (as Nick Young had yet to be signed), and it seemed as if the good end to the previous season was going to extend into Crawford’s first full season in Washington (a lockout-shortened season). But when Young ended his two-game holdout in search for a new contract and returned to the Wizards’ starting lineup (accepting Washington’s one-year qualifying offer), Crawford’s good fortune ended and the turbulence began. There were masterful games like the one against Cleveland when he scored 31 points on 59 percent shooting, or the game against Milwaukee when he scored 32 points on a bad ankle and drew high praise from his teammates. But there were also cringe-worthy moments, like when he often ignored John Wall’s pleas for the ball so he could initiate the offense himself, or when his 6-foot-4 frame was abused in the post by larger guards, or when he would shoot an 18-to-25-foot shot with over 12 seconds still left on the shot clock. Crawford, like most shooters, always thinks he is one made shot away from heating up and helping his team, and considering the paltry nature of the Wizards’ offense last season, who could blame him? (FWIW, last season Crawford was one of the worst shooters in the NBA from the right wing of the 3-point line — 16 percent.)
As his second full season as Wizard begins, and as Bradley Beal lurks, Crawford doesn’t know whether he’ll be a starter, a sixth man or a footnote, and his overall role is highly uncertain. But at some point this season, maybe even during several points, the Wizards will need him to deliver a high volume of points in a short period of time to help win a game (or as Crawford would say, let us know “what it was“). And if he knows he’s going to get shots, maybe then he won’t need assistance getting to the airport.
Rashad Mobley ][ @Rashad20
No. 56: Cedric Jackson; No. 55: Mike Bibby; No. 54: Paul Davis; No. 53: Edwin Ubiles; No. 52: Quinton Ross.
No. 51: Mike Wilks; No. 50: Mike Harris; No. 49: Javaris Crittenton; No. 48: Dee Brown; No. 47: Morris Almond.
No. 46: Larry Owens; No. 45: Mustafa Shakur; No. 44: Brian Cook; No. 43: Hamady N’diaye; No. 42: Rashard Lewis.
No. 41: Hilton Armstrong; No. 40: Oleksiy Pecherov; No. 39: Mike James; No. 38: Fabricio Oberto; No. 37: Ronny Turiaf.
No. 36: Lester Hudson; No. 35: Yi Jianlian; No. 34: Juan Dixon; No. 33: Josh Howard; No. 32: Chris Singleton.
No. 31: Al Thornton; No. 30: Shelvin Mack; No. 29: Mo Evans; No. 28: Mike Miller; No. 27: Alonzo Gee.
No. 26: Randy Foye; No. 25: Dominic McGuire; No. 24: Andray Blatche; No. 23: Earl Boykins; No. 22: Roger Mason.
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