After two seasons with Jordan Crawford, it’s obvious that he likes to get his shots up. But for all of the (justified) hand-wringing about Crawford’s shot selection and poor three-point percentage, he was actually quite good from a few spots on the floor. Crawford was among the top five in the NBA shooting from the left elbow and left wing, hitting 53 and 47 percent of his shots from those areas, respectively.
One of the most effective ways the Wizards can get Crawford to these spots is by running him off of baseline screens. In 2012, Crawford spent a ton of time operating with the ball in his hands, using isolations and ball screens. But although Crawford didn’t use very many off-ball screens this past year, he did some of his best work there, ranking 70th in the league in points per possession.
Instead of simply giving the ball to Crawford and letting him do his thing, the Wizards would be wise to use Nene or Kevin Seraphin to draw the defense’s attention first. Once the defense is focusing on the post, Crawford has a much better chance at getting free on a down screen. In the video below, you see how easy it is for him to get to his favorite spot on the floor by coming off of a down screen while the defense is watching a post player.
Another way to get Crawford free is by using John Wall’s pick-and-roll ability against the defense. While the defense is ready to help on Wall using a ball screen, Crawford is on the other side of the floor running around a double screen off the ball. The help defenders can only realistically choose to assist one side of the floor at a time. The video below shows how the action on both sides of the floor stretches the defense and lets Crawford run free.
These are just a few ways Jordan Crawford found some easier shots in this past year. In the coming season, it’s up to the coaches as to whether they want to trust Crawford with tons of shot creation duties again. It might be better to leave the shot creation to Wall, Nene and Seraphin, while letting Crawford do his damage off of the ball. This philosophy can give him more open shots and less opportunity to freelance his way into 27-footers.