[Rashad Mobley and Kyle Weidie covered the Wizards-Hawks game from the Verizon Center on Tuesday night. This is just part of the story, but from both sides of the court.]
From the other side.
—Rashad Mobley, @rashad20
After the first half of Tuesday night’s game between the Hawks and the Wizards, Atlanta’s Jeff Teague and Washington’s Jordan Crawford basically had the exact same statistics. Teague had eight points, six assists and two rebounds, and Crawford eight points, six assists and three rebounds. Except one thing: Crawford’s Wizards were down six points, 46-52.
Teague had not been the dominant force — slicing into the paint as he pleased — like he had been back on December 7th when these teams met, and Crawford had yet to settle into a scoring groove, opting instead to be more of a playmaker. Then, not 15 seconds into the third quarter, Teague inadvertently hit Crawford in the face, and Crawford was visibly agitated. A foul was called. A minute after that, Crawford threw an alley-oop to Martell Webster. Less than 30 seconds later, Crawford hit a fade away. And about 30 seconds after that, an invigorated Crawford hit a 3-pointer. The jawing between Crawford and Teague had picked up a couple notches, but it didn’t seem threatening. Then NBA referee Joey Crawford, who is well-known for this quick whistles, thought otherwise and issued the dreaded double-technical foul. Here’s what Teague had to say about his “homeboy” (and former teammate) Jordan Crawford after the game:
From the home team’s end.
—Kyle Weidie, @truth_about_it
Sure enough, nothing between Crawford and Teague was personal, personal. Just competition. But if you don’t take it personally, you’re not a “popcorn player,” as Flip Saunders used to say. And if you like to play to the crowd, you certainly don’t want to be shown up in front of them. Crawford handled the blow to the face from Teague in the most LeBron James-ian of manners, taking his sweet reactionary time in a trot away from the scene of the crime. And then, J-Craw turned it on.
On Saturday in Miami, Crawford was cash for clunkers. But on this night at home against his former team, he passed for four assists in the first quarter to help steady a fledging Wizards offense. And in overtime, Crawford grabbed the four rebounds needed to give him the 27-11-11 triple-double, besting by far Teague’s 13 points, six assists, and five fouls on the night.
Crawford pocketed seven points and a sweet assist in the 180 seconds between getting fouled by Teague and receiving his share of the double-technical. He also brought the Wizards from down six points to up two, 56-54. Crawford said he didn’t know why both he and Teague got hit with the $2,000 fine (the current cost for Crawford’s third technical of the year, Teague’s first). We’ll just chalk it up to the famed attention-seeking Joey Crawford, no relation.
When asked if getting hit in the mouth fired him up, Crawford, simply and in his usual curt and coy manner: “Yea, a little bit.”
But maybe it was Atlanta in general. More Crawford:
“I know the coaching staff, couple players that was there. They have good time with me, and I have a good time with them.”
And Crawford final verdict on the battle with Teague?
“We real cool, but on the court we like to see who get the upper hand.”
But while Crawford may have won the individual battle, Teague’s team won the game.