It's not technically midseason, but with this being the all-star break, we could think of no better time than to issue midseason report cards. In this edition: Jordan Crawford, the man whose steez is phenomenal:
STATS: 13.2 points, 3.1 rebounds, 3.7 assists in 26.2 minutes per game; 14.8 PER, 51.2% TS%, 26% assist rate, 14.9% turnover percentage, 26.5% usage rate:
Crawford improved his scoring efficiency and carried the Wizards' offense during many stretches when they needed it most. He also significantly improved as a spot-up player, hitting 41.3 percent of his spot-up three, per MySynergySports.com, and scoring 1.1 points per possession on these plays. Last year, those numbers were 34.8 percent and 0.92 points per possession.
In general, Crawford showed more capability to play with others than he has in the past. He still exhibited some dribble-pounding tendencies, but he also started using his dribbles more wisely to get into the lane. Per Basketball Reference, he's shooting 6.8 shots outside of 16 feet per game this year down from 7.75 last season. That's still probably too many, but at least Crawford seems to be making positive strides. I would also venture to guess that he's using fewer dribbles per touch this year, something that can be tracked using the SportVU technology the Wizards have.
Oh, and Crawford also hit one of the most memorable shots of the season (video via WIZ SPURTIN).
As has been discussed over and over again recently, Crawford fell out of the rotation recently. Tired of his poor defense and shot-jacking ways, Randy Wittman played him less and less frequently before finally pulling the plug for good after a horrendous 30-footer against the Knicks. Garrett Temple, who was called up from the D-League earlier this year, has been getting Crawford's minutes.
Defense has really been the biggest disappointment. As noted by Truth About It's John Townsend, Crawford notched the worst score on close-outs, according to the Wizards' internal metrics. Crawford has not displayed the speed to guard quick point guards or the dogged pursuit to run through screens and stick to shooting guards on the perimeter. For a team that is trying to instill a defensive culture, Crawford's lack of size and interest is concerning.
Also, despite the marginal improvements cited above, Crawford fundamentally remains the same dribble-pounding, shot-jacking player that ruins offensive flow.
EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND HALF
If Crawford remains with the Wizards past next week, I expect him to work his way back into the rotation and show that he's learned something from his extended benching. I would like to see him exhibit better defensive effort and even more of an inclination to attack the basket rather than settling for jumpers. I've accepted that you're going to have to live with some wild Steez shots, but I can deal with a small dose of them if they come while attacking the rim. It's the 30-foot above-the-break threes that need to stop.
How would you rate Crawford's season on a scale of 1-10, and what would you like to see from him in the second half of the season?