There are many adjectives to describe Jordan Crawford, who spent 27 games with the Celtics in the third year of his NBA career.
Maturity is not one of them. Unfortunately for the 24-year-old, Crawford is most known for his recent verbal spat with Carmelo Anthony. After the Celtics’ 92-86 victory in Game 5 of the first round, this scuffle unfolded at Madison Square Garden:
Although Crawford did not see any court time in Game 5, he still tried to make himself a real part of the series with the Knicks. However, it was discouraging for Celtics fans that Crawford could not consistently help a very shallow Celtics roster in the 2013 playoffs.
He put up double-figure scoring in Boston’s 16-point loss in Game 2, but scored only eight points combined during the rest of the series. After shooting better than 40 percent during the regular season, Crawford struggled in limited minutes in the postseason.
The acquisition of Crawford from the Washington Wizards for Leandro Barbosa and Jason Collins on February 21 was the Celtics’ only trade during the 2012-13 season. While Crawford has played only about one-third of a season in Boston, he can make an impact in the future.
At the time of the trade, Crawford was one of seven players to average 18 points, five assists and four rebounds per 36 minutes for the season. This impressive list of players also included LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Dwyane Wade and Manu Ginobili.
Of course, Crawford is the only player of those seven to play with a team that finished below .500 this past season. He was a part of 43 games this past season with the Wizards, but fell out of favor with coach Randy Wittman before being traded.
With the Celtics entering a new era, they do need shooting. Over the last five seasons, the men in green have slowly dropped in the effective field goal percentage and true shooting percentage rankings.
Crawford has the ability to be a solid bench contributor because he possesses a talent that most recent Celtics have not had: Jordan can create his own shot.
While he is not one of the most efficient players, he was able to improve the Celtics’ scoring. In his 582 minutes played in green during the regular season, Boston’s offense was 4.1 points better per 100 possessions.
Heading into 2013-14, there is a lot of uncertainty for the Celtics. As of right now, Crawford is due to make $2.2 million in the upcoming season and has a qualifying for $3.2 million in 2014-15.
He might be part of a trade this offseason, but if Crawford plays for the Celtics, look for him to continue to improve his passing skills. With Boston struggling to find a consistent point guard after the Rajon Rondo injury, Crawford handled the ball at times and showed off some nice passes.
Crawford will also have to work hard on fitting into the team’s defensive system. It would be helpful for him to have Doc Rivers return because the continuity with the coaching staff will be important for Crawford’s developing maturity.
His shooting without a conscious makes his game fun to watch. Celtics fans should enjoy seeing him, as long as he makes his name known for his positives on the court.
Final Grade: C
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