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Will Crittenton Ever Play?


Just be patient. You'll get your shot in the future -- whenever that is. (AP Photo)

It's been three weeks since Javaris Crittenton made his debut for the Washington Wizards against the Boston Celtics. He got about five minutes on Dec. 11 in the Wizards' 34-point loss to the defending champions. He probably thought he'd get a gradual increase in play over the next few games. But since joining the team, Crittenton has appeared in six games, played a total of 28 minutes, taken and missed four shots -- in one game against Dallas -- and contributed four rebounds, two assists, two steals, five turnovers and two fouls. The Wizards acquired Crittenton with the future in mind, but the team is 6-24 and the playoffs are a fantasy. So, when does the future begin?

Crittenton has had a difficult time since the Los Angeles Lakers selected him 19th overall in the 2008 NBA Draft. He was dealt to Memphis eight months later in the Pau Gasol deal, then dealt to Washington eight months later when the Grizzlies were simply looking to get back a draft pick. The Wizards still don't know what they have in Crittenton and he's likely still trying to figure himself out. After all, he's played just 750 minutes in 1 ½ seasons in the NBA and he left Georgia Tech after one season. I saw this interview over on ESPN's Truehoop with Georgia Tech Coach Paul Hewitt. Here's what he had to say about his former player:


TH: Javaris Crittenton has been traded to Washington -- his third team in 15 months. He's 6' 5, has everything pro organizations want in a point guard. What does he need to do to succceed?

Hewitt: I think he just needs time to grow and mature. We sat down with his family and talked about what he was getting into as a one-year point guard. If you look at the history of the league, point guards that have come out of high school or only had one year of college experience have had mixed success in the NBA. If you look at all the great point guards -- whether it's Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, Deron Williams -- they've all done two or more years. Javaris had a very good idea of what he was getting into. There's just so much to learn, not just about the game, but how to manage a team, run a team, make sure the other players are happy. I think Javaris is really talented, and I expect him to have a long and successful career in the NBA. He's very happy to be in Washington. I know that Washington has long-term plans for him. That will help him grow and mature into being a point guard, not just in ability, but mentally as well.

Will 2009 be better for him? The guy couldn't get run against Oklahoma City -- when Caron Butler was out with an ankle injury. He's still lucky to get garbage minutes, with five DNP-Coaches Decisions. If Gilbert Arenas is expected to return this season, isn't this the best to time to see what he's got?


By Michael Lee  |  January 2, 2009; 3:15 PM ET
 
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Next: Wizards (6-24) at Celtics (28-5), Stevenson out (back)

Comments

You could use the same argument with JaVale.

Bottom line, we should never have traded for the kid if we didn't think he could do something for us. If we do in fact belive that, then he should get minutes. Not a ton of minutes, but enough to at least evaluate where he's at.

But, on a positive note, McGuire and Young are getting minutes. Hard to say if either of them will be long term fixtures with the team, but at least they're getting the minutes required for evaluation in the off-season.

Posted by: Matte | January 2, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I still have a lot of faith in Grunfeld. The guy has done a good job of assembling talented guys, and usually getting them on the cheap. So if he thinks Crittendon can help us out, then I gotta believe.

Posted by: Matte | January 2, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Be realistic, Michael.

We just CAN'T play him, don't you see.

Say we gave him big minutes the next ten games, and we lost all of them.

Do you know what that would mean?

WE'D BE 6 AND 34!

Our season would be over!!

As long as we've got a shot at . . .

Um, as long as we can hold out hope, uh,

Yeah, well, he's too raw. No play for you!

Posted by: farstriker | January 2, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I think as long as the Wizards keep entertaining this lousy hope of reaching the playoffs, Crittenton and Pech won't get playing time "just to see what they can do". Both of them have to really show something in practice. At least, that's what I hope Eddie believes.

The key question is how have these guys been in practice? Can you tell us if they deserve playing time?

Posted by: tundey | January 2, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I'd be interested in knowing how they're doing in practice.

Posted by: jones-y | January 2, 2009 4:06 PM | Report abuse

But the reality is that Critt is a project for us, especially being behind Arenas (when healthy). And again we've got 6 players under 23. Critt and JM will have to wait their turns, like AB, NY and DMac have. OP is injury insurance and nothing more.

Posted by: jones-y | January 2, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately this franchise has a poor history of selecting and developing developing talent. It seems the managment structure is not there, it probably starts at the top since this is a long term reality. How many career Bullets/Wizards have we had in the last 10 years? Examples of that abound. Here are some of the players that started here in DC and are now still playing in other places or went on to playing and contributing strongly to other teams: Chris Weber, Richard Hamilton, Juwan Howard, Steve Blake, Rasheed Wallace, Kwame Brown. Certainly there are others. My hope with Ernie Grunfeld was that he would help establish a team and culture that would be perpetually competitive. His idea of maintaining a core team and maturing them was appealing but at this point I wonder. I don't have any answers but I'd like to see the Wizards developing into a quality, winning organization, winning, as in aspiring consistently to winning NBA championships. Now that we have some young talent, they need to be developed, counseled, into becoming winning players for a winning organization, so they need to play. I think of floundering picks,John Williams, J.P. Ramos, and trading picks could have picked up such as Devin Harris of (NJ Nets), picking up and then trading Roger Mason. There is no method to the madness. We pick O.Pechrov and waited years for him, and he can't get off the bench. The team has made some strides but just seems to be a perplexing organization!

Posted by: zbopjazz | January 2, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

if by the 41st game of this season we still have under 10 wins then we need to play nothing but the young guns including Crit. tap is a fool for thinking he will find the missing combo of players that will magically gel and produce a 30 game win streak.

Play Crit, D-mac, Nick, Pech and James and let them have it for a few games

Posted by: WizardsExtreme | January 2, 2009 4:35 PM | Report abuse

No more Deshawn running the point. Those minutes should always, always goes to Crittendon. He's looked fine in the unbelievably limited minutes he's gotten thus far

Posted by: dingersoll1 | January 2, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Webber and Howard were all-stars with the Wizards. Hamilton was a 20 ppg scorer as a Wizard. They saw something in Ben Wallace than made them pluck him out of obscurity after he went undrafted and got cut from Boston;'s training camp.

This franchise has actually had a pretty good record of selecting and developing talent. Where they've fallen down is keeping the talent they've acquired long enough for it to play off.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Critt could develop but who's going to do that, i know you knowlegdable NBA armchair analyst can't possibly think TAPS has got a clue about running the point or any other facet of pro hoops, PLEASE!! LOL!!! and JONES-Y check my post in the previous blog.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 2, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Make that "long enough for it to pay off."

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

"OP is injury insurance and nothing more."

He's not even that.

Posted by: kalo_rama | January 2, 2009 5:17 PM | Report abuse

They've had their share of fumblerooskis, but overall the Wiz have been pretty good at developing players. Roger Mason owes them a vote of thanks, although who could blame him for thinking the Spurs were his best chance for a ring? He might have arrived a season too late, however.

They obviously like Javaris, but he's a very inexperienced player who missed all of camp and is being asked to learn another system. We'll see more of him in the second half, I expect.

Wonder if he'll ever develop anything resembling an outside shot...

Posted by: Samson151 | January 2, 2009 5:58 PM | Report abuse

I don't buy that Critt doesn't know the system.
James was here only a few days and starts.
If Critt can put the ball in the hole and get assists he doesn't need to know any system.
But we'll never find out with him on the bench.
The season is over let's find out what we got in the youngsters.
Don't burn out AJ & CB.
Stay home Gil and get healthy.


Posted by: VBFan | January 2, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Who cares?

If Les BouleS are hedging this season's success on someone by the name of Javaris Crittenton, then everybody on the team should be sent to the D-League right now.

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | January 2, 2009 6:25 PM | Report abuse

When we got Javaris, both Ivan and Chris Miller were talking about how he's going to get alot of run and I was shocked that 2 big time analyst would say something like that. I never thought he would get much run. How can he get run when they got James at the same time and they like him. They also have a vet like Deshawn who got a new contract last year and there not going to just throw away. Then you have NY who you drafted in the 1st round last year and you have McGuire who is now playing alot and you got him last year also. Thats not even including Juan who they always like and has played well in nearly every game off the bench. I totally disagree with Miller and IVan when they say that we have to see what the kid has. I dont think there looking at it that way at all. I think they really beleive in him and they think they have a solid piece for the future so they dont have to see how he plays. Its like if NY was on another team where he didnt get playing time and then he came here. They wouldnt have to definatly play him to see what he's got because they alreadys scouted him, they already worked him out predraft, and now they see him every day in practice. He would just have to wait his turn but they would feel good in him since they were going to draft him. People act like there are no legit players in front of him. There are. No way he should be playing over James, McGuire, and Young. Then alot of people hate Deshawn but you cant just throw out a vet like that this early. He can be the last guy this year and take Juans spot next year. He can be the 3rd string guy next year and if James gets hurt then he is the backup to Gil. Its not difficult to explain to me. I honestly think that the Wiz feel like they dont have to see the kid in action. I think they like him but he has to wait his turn and I certainly dont feel sorry for him at all. People who know me know that I always feel sorry for guys but this situation is different. He came out after only 1 year and wasnt a high pick. He knew this could happened. He still has a long long career ahead of him. I disagree with Ivan when he keeps saying that the season is over. If it was over then he would be playing but they still feel like they have a shot at the playoffs, espically if Gil comes back soon and there is no way he deserves to play on a playoff team in front of those other guys

Posted by: dlts20 | January 2, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys for not putting the last one in paragraphs. Here it is redone.

When we got Javaris, both Ivan and Chris Miller were talking about how he's going to get alot of run and I was shocked that 2 big time analyst would say something like that. I never thought he would get much run. How can he get run when they got James at the same time and they like him. They also have a vet like Deshawn who got a new contract last year and there not going to just throw away. Then you have NY who you drafted in the 1st round last year and you have McGuire who is now playing alot and you got him last year also. Thats not even including Juan who they always like and has played well in nearly every game off the bench.

I totally disagree with Miller and IVan when they say that we have to see what the kid has. I dont think there looking at it that way at all. I think they really beleive in him and they think they have a solid piece for the future so they dont have to see how he plays. Its like if NY was on another team where he didnt get playing time and then he came here. They wouldnt have to definatly play him to see what he's got because they already scouted him, they already worked him out predraft, and now they see him every day in practice. He would just have to wait his turn but they would feel good in him since they were going to draft him.

People act like there are no legit players in front of him. There are. No way he should be playing over James, McGuire, and Young. Then alot of people hate Deshawn but you cant just throw out a vet like that this early. He can be the last guy this year and take Juans spot next year. He can be the 3rd string guy next year and if James gets hurt then he is the backup to Gil. Its not difficult to explain to me. I honestly think that the Wiz feel like they dont have to see the kid in action.

I think they like him but he has to wait his turn and I certainly dont feel sorry for him at all. People who know me know that I always feel sorry for guys but this situation is different. He came out after only 1 year and wasnt a high pick. He knew this could happened. He still has a long long career ahead of him. I disagree with Ivan when he keeps saying that the season is over. If it was over then he would be playing but they still feel like they have a shot at the playoffs, espically if Gil comes back soon and there is no way he deserves to play on a playoff team in front of those other guys

Posted by: dlts20 | January 2, 2009 7:01 PM | Report abuse

and JONES-Y check my post in the previous blog.

Posted by: dargregmag | January 2, 2009 5:10 PM

I responded in the previous thread.

Posted by: jones-y | January 2, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

This is one of those silly, "need to take up some space"-type questions. Javaris Crittenton hasn't shown anything. He was also a bench warmer for one of the perennial worst teams in the league. Sure, give him some minutes: if you're planning to trade him.

Posted by: satchmore | January 2, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

we have no shot at the playoffs, plus the young guys are the only chance we have to be competitive anyway. blatche, crit , dom, young, pech and most importantly mcgee need minutes

Posted by: bford1kb | January 3, 2009 3:38 PM | Report abuse

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