Jordan Crawford caused a bit of a social media stir Sunday morning when he tweeted his December stat line, which given its timing was widely interpreted as a show of frustration over his vastly-diminished role with the Washington Wizards.
12/1/12 - 12/31/12 20 6 5— Jordan Crawford (@jcraw55) February 17, 2013
The tweet, taken in conjunction with a recent report that the Wizards have made Crawford available in trade talks, naturally spurred a reading of the tea leaves in some corners.
Over the first couple months of the season, with John Wall sidelined and Nene hampered by a nagging foot injury, Crawford was pretty much all the Washington Wizards had on offense, which ranked dead last in the league as the team started 4-28.
But then something happened -- as summarized by CSN Washington's Ben Standig, Crawford tweaked his ankle Jan. 6 against the Miami Heat, and the next day the Wizards upset the Oklahoma City Thunder. Wall returned the next game, a victory over the the Atlanta Hawks. Crawford sat out two more games before returning in a road win against the Denver Nuggets, but in a diminished role, scoring only eight points in 17 minutes.
Crawford received steady playing time over the next couple weeks, between 15 and 24 minutes a game, but still far less than he become accustomed to in November and December. But Crawford played only 11 total minutes in the Wizards' last five games before the All-Star break, and none in the final three.
Is it merely coincidence that the Wizards have gone 11-8 since Crawford's ankle injury against the Heat, and 7-2 when he's played six minutes or less? Or is it indicative of how much better Washington's offense, which relies on ball movement, hums along without Crawford's iso-heavy game? Could the Wizards be dangling Crawford to the team that drafted him in a effort to acquire Josh Smith?