Got an amusing tweet last night that seems to embody the Jordan Crawford experience right now.
I'm totally guilty of this lately. I'm so ingrained with my perception of his reputation that it is hard to allow what is happening on the floor to sink into my consciousness. It seems like a fluke. I keep waiting for the old Steez to show up and torpedo the offense with bad shot selection.
Sure he hoists up an ugly shot every now and then, but for the most part he's been either open or trying to beat a shot clock violation (a situation in which he might be the MOST qualified to have the ball).
But he's been nothing short of a revelation at point guard this year. That's one of those backhanded compliments but I mean every word. I wouldn't have guessed that Crawford would get 10 assists in a single game, but perhaps I should have known. Way back when we traded for him last year our good friends at Bullets Forever pointed out that he had a sneaky good passing game and at times he was called upon to play some point for the Wizards.
So what gives? Why is he excelling when he hasn't in other stops? I don't know for sure, but there seems to be two main factors at play.
First, he really is a good fit at point guard. Think about it, he's got good enough handles to advance the ball, he clearly enjoys having the ball in his hands, and given that responsibility he might be even more unselfish with the ball because he knows he'll get it back the next play. He knows he can get his shot off or drive the lane, and having those options keeps defenses honest.
Secondly, Brad Stevens has his team running a more free flowing, sharing the ball, movement offense than we've seen on a consistent basis around here. There were times when Doc had the offense running smoothly, but more often than not it bogged down to a crawl. That might have been by design in order to preserve the older legs or it may have been a strategic play to focus on defense. Either way that isn't how this team is playing thus far and it has benefited a lot of players, including Crawford.
With all that said, maybe, just maybe, there's still another reason for Crawford's emergence. Maybe the 25 year old is just growing up.
"I think he's more mature," said Jeff Green, who had 16 points Monday. "I know he had a bad rep coming from the Wizards of just a one-way player. Now he's learning the game. He's playing both ends. He's bigger than a lot of guards so he can shoot right over them, and he has the mentality to turn it on when needs be. I think he's learning to pick his spots very well."
Whatever it is, I hope he keeps it up. This team is a lot of fun to watch and Jordan Crawford is a big part of that.