Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: MrMichaelLee and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS
Posted at 1:40 PM ET, 02/27/2011

Jordan Crawford gets a surprising call to close

By Michael Lee

Jordan Crawford arrived at Verizon Center on Saturday as one of the least likely candidates to be on the court, let alone hitting a game-tying jumper, in crunch time against one of the league's best teams. Before arriving in Washington in the Kirk Hinrich trade, Crawford was collecting DNP-CDs with regularity in Atlanta, where veterans Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford were called in to close.


I'm not afraid to take shots. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

But his former Hawks teammates, Mike Bibby and Maurice Evans, knew that the rookie was capable of responding in such a situation. And, he did. Crawford had 10 points -- coming within one point of his career-high -- in 17 minutes and buried a difficult jumper over Jason Kidd to tie the game at 97 with 96 seconds remaining.

With the Dallas Mavericks in town, Josh Howard wanted to be on the floor at the finish, but he asked out when he started feeling some soreness in his left knee. And since you know he had a year of pent up emotion, Howard must've been in some serious pain because adrenaline couldn't even push him along.

So Coach Flip Saunders called on Crawford, a player that the Wizards were high on during the draft last summer, when he was selected 27th overall out of Xavier. Crawford is most known for being the guy who dunked on LeBron James and had the video confiscated by Nike, but Saunders was familiar with Crawford because he had come up in Detroit around the time when Saunders coached the Pistons.

"He can make plays," Saunders said. "He is playmaker. He has the ability to score. He is extremely talented. He has no fear going against anybody, and the other thing was he made shots, so we kept him in the game."

He is extremely laid back, speaks with a slow drawl and slouched shoulders. But when he's on the court, Crawford can play a little frantic and fearless. "He definitely has a scorer's mentality," Evans said. "Missing shots doesn't bother him. He's going to stay aggressive."

When asked what Crawford needed to do to get better, Bibby said, "Get on the court. Being with a lot of the younger guys, getting a chance to play and show what he can do. Flip's going to let him do that."

Crawford didn't feel that he had the opportunity to improve simply by practicing against Johnson and Jamal Crawford every day in practice. "You can't, that's how I look at it. I don't think you can. Me, I was always the type of person that felt I play better five on five," he said. "Workouts is good because you stay in shape and stuff like that, when you're playing games, that's the only way to get better."

Jordan Crawford added that Jamal Crawford offered some good advice while he was in Atlanta. "He told me, go out there and do what you do. Don't hold back. If you hold back, you're going to regret it at the end," he said.

After his first game with the Wizards, Jordan Crawford was sitting in front of his locker room stall at AmericanAirlines Arena, munching on a some barbecue potato chips. I asked him if he nervous on his shot, a rushed jumper that soared just a bit outside and didn't come close to touching...the net.

Crawford quickly put away the bag of chips, muched some more, dusted the crumbs from his fingers and asked me to repeat the question. Howard was standing next to him and said, "Oh yeah, the airball!"

Crawford shrugged and said, "I just came around [the screen] wrong."

He added that he was still waiting to get comfortable with his teammates. "I ain't even made it to D.C. yet."

Crawford made it to D.C. and had an influence on the game a little earlier than expected. "I'm glad coach gave me the opportunity and I'm looking for more down the road," he said.

By Michael Lee  | February 27, 2011; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Jordan Crawford  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Open thread: Wizards (15-42) vs. Mavericks (41-16)
Next: Buyout remains a possibility for Mike Bibby

Comments

Crawford had one of those bad starts to his college career -- caught up in the Kelvin Sampson mess at Indiana. Then he managed to put it back together at Xavier, where he was basically the offense. Not the most talented kid in the league but works hard and perseveres. Could eventually be an off-the-bench scorer type --

Posted by: Samson151 | February 27, 2011 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Jordan Crawford is an interesting case to analyze, as he is efficient in virtually every situation, and shouldered a heavy load for Xavier, but his inability to get to the foul line prevents him from standing out as much as he probably could. The second most efficient player in our rankings overall (1.014 PPP), Crawford gets fouled on his 5.1% of his shots (3rd last). A highly ranked catch and shoot player with or without a hand in his face, Crawford’s inability to draw fouls renders him as a below average finisher at .993 PPP. Draft Exptess

Unfortunately, "inability to draw fouls" also describes all the other wings on the roster. This is another thing that needs to be addressed over the summer.

Posted by: djnnnou | February 27, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

As for the three newbies, they are upgrades coming from playoff teams to the up and coming Wizards. I really like what they bring but we still have a long way to go. Last 2 AB less games has me wondering what we'll have with AB in the line up. Stay tuned tomorrow!

Posted by: zack5 | February 27, 2011 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, "inability to draw fouls" also describes all the other wings on the roster. This is another thing that needs to be addressed over the summer.

Posted by: djnnnou

From the team or from the ref because i promise mostly everytime our guards drive in the lane the ref's choke on their calls for fouls. Through that to be expected from a losing team with no superstar yet.

Posted by: YEAwizards | February 27, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Believe it or not fellows, the lack of getting to the line can be a direct result of an half-court jump shooting offense, one very like and intrinsic to Flip's system.

However, the last two games indicate that if they continue to UpTemPo mainly as the primary offensive focus, you will begin to see our trek to line increase.

You see, that isn't too hard to have figured out now, is it?

LarryInClintonMD.

Posted by: LarryInClintonMD | February 27, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

Believe it or not fellows, the lack of getting to the line can be a direct result of an half-court jump shooting offense, one very like and intrinsic to Flip's system.

However, the last two games indicate that if they continue to UpTemPo mainly as the primary offensive focus, you will begin to see our trek to line increase.

You see, that isn't too hard to have figured out now, is it?

LarryInClintonMD.

Offensive style can definitely be part of the problem, but so is having players who aren't inclined to take the kinds of shots that draw fouls. Lots of jumpshooters on this team and that's not all a function of the offense.

Posted by: ts35 | February 27, 2011 8:27 PM | Report abuse

Lots of jumpshooters on this team and that's not all a function of the offense.Posted by: ts35"

That's the point that was being made, I believe. Crawford had the same tendency in college.

Interesting comment by Phil Jackson on Blake Griffin: "... we all hope he does have the ability to monitor when it's important to do that type of slam. There's a reason his knee gave out last year. You can only contort and extend that body so much. Sometimes it's going to get you in trouble."

Posted by: Samson151 | February 27, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

Sorry everybody, the "up-tempo" run will end as-soon as the new guys learn Flips "System" Up-tempo is what we should been running the entire season so-as to maximize John Wall's strengths....it's his game.

Posted by: closg | February 27, 2011 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Gosh....another feel good story about a little know player or comeback story after a good game. Anybody remember the other ones? Boykins, Alonzo Gee, Mike Miller, Shakur, etc. Where they be now?

Posted by: DC_MAN88 | February 27, 2011 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Yeah I like Crawford. Remind me a bit of Rip the way he is moving non stop off the ball.

The draft, I been checking out that center Enes Kanter, and he does look like a good fit for us. He is clearly skilled, BUT my only question is he legit 6-10/6-11 or really 6-8/6-9 ?? It is hard to tell from youtube clips vs highschool kids. If he is legit he could be a real nice addition.

With the ATL pick Chris Singleton I really like IF he is still there. Patric Young or Morris Markieff could be good there also.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 27, 2011 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Also Kanter also has some kind of knee issue that has to check out.

Posted by: Darnell1 | February 27, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Yea, with Kanter's knees, I wouldn't draft him that high. Especailly, if you want to build a high speed offense around John Wall. I think we should go with Derrick William. The guy can run the floor and shoot. If we can't trade down or get Derrick W. then take a risk on Barnes Harrison. With Atlanta's spot, Chris S. Sounds pretty good. What about Kyle Singler? Since Jwall like to drive then kick the ball out, Kyle give you that automatic mid-range shots we lack. Yi was suppose to be that guy but it hasnt been working out as of late.

Posted by: demonj21 | February 27, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

how bout jordan williams?

Posted by: bbachrac | February 27, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Check out how you can win two tickets (with guest passes to the Lexus Suite!) for the Wizards game against the OKC Thunder when Kevin Durant comes to town: http://bit.ly/e4XGaY


Posted by: humen8r | February 27, 2011 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Imo, it matters less what style they want to play for who they pick. Aside from finding talented players, qualification #2 has to be finding players who want to play as hard as Wall. Book, and maybe Big Serf, were good starts. Lots of work left to do.

Posted by: ts35 | February 27, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

Seraphin continues to impress me with his court awareness, hard fouls, hands, and decent moves in the post. This guy is going to be a keeper. His height is really not an issue for me at the C position. There are very few centers in the league that are going to dominate him offensively when he gets experience. For instance, DH is controlled when you keep him a foot or two further away from the basket than he likes and Seraphin can do that.

Booker is just going to be a solid pro. He gets to where the elbow 12 footer is automatic and he will be even better. Too bad he is not an inch or two taller bc then he would almost be a guaranteed starter in a year or two.

And, Jordan Crawford, I like his energy level. He is kind of helter skelter in his moves. Kind of reminds me of Ledell Eackles in that regard. But, he is young and fast - so a potential running mate for Wall.

So, I don't get all the talk I hear nationally and even locally that this team is John Wall only. He may be the only "untouchable", but this is not a talentless squad. You can't leave out NY, AB, and JM either.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 28, 2011 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Hilarious - IT's ALL FLIP.

Now the fact that there are no slashers on the team just yet is his fault. I got a news flash for you people there are is only one player who gets to the rim and puts pressure on the defense and his name is John Wall. The rest aren't going to get fouled bc of the way they play. NY could be that type of player, but he is just too soft. As is AB. It has nothing to do with a system as has been wrongly floated in here.

Posted by: rphilli721 | February 28, 2011 7:34 AM | Report abuse

I wish we could hurry up and get this buyout thing going with Bibby. I really like Bibby but he's not needed with us and I just would like to see a nice 3 guard rotation of Wall, NY, and Crawford the rest of the year. Very young & explosive

Posted by: dlts2041 | February 28, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company