Madness Diagnosis: Jordan Crawford And His Celebrity Dunk Tape

You remember Jordan Crawford, don’t you?

He was the man we all wanted to free back in the summer of 2009. No, he wasn’t being held captive by some foreign government (ala Jack Bauer). His dunk on LeBron James was being kept in the dark because Nike and the King didn’t want it to get leaked out into a frenzied, bloodthirsty internet. Well, eventually it did and Jordan Crawford’s heroic basketball camp deeds became nothing more than a reaction of “well, that really wasn’t a big deal after all.”

Since then, Jordan Crawford has been working on his game, going to classes and getting his Xavier team to the NCAA tournament. But does Jordan Crawford have enough game to get into the NBA? He’s currently ranked in the 90s on many Top 100 Prospects lists. There are only 60 draft selections this draft. So he has some work to do. After watching him help his school get past Minnesota in the first round, let’s see how he shapes up.

Stat Line: 28 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals, 1 block, 1 turnover, 11/21 FG, 5/11 3FG, 1/2 FT

What He Does Well
Crawford can score the ball and score the ball a lot. He finished this game with 28 points but shot the ball extremely well considering the shots he was taking. He made five threes in the game showing that he can shoot well from outside when he’s in rhythm. He had quite a few catch-and-shoot threes, which looked good coming out of his hands. But his biggest strength is getting to the basket. He’s pretty good getting to the basket despite the fact that he’s not a world-class dribbler. He’s not a bad dribbler by any means but he’s not exactly Chris Paul with the rock either. He’s very quick with his first step and has good explosiveness from his last dribble to exploding to the rim.

As we learned this summer, he can be very athletic around the rim. He forces things a bit too much but he’s pretty good at using his strength around the basket when he gets himself into trouble. That’s not necessarily going to be something he can rely on in the NBA because you’re strong unless you’re Kevin Durant or Shaun Livingston. However, as he moves up the ranks and probably spends some time developing in the D-League, he’ll be able to continue to benefit from his power around the hoop.

What He Does Poorly
Even though he shot the ball well, I’m not crazy about his jumper. He has an odd shooting motion in which it doesn’t look like the same shot everywhere on the floor. I don’t know if he’s just inconsistent in his motion or if he shoots it differently from different spots on the floor because of adjusting to distance. Usually that’s something you lose around the age of 14 years old but he still seems to have it. Then again, maybe I was just seeing things. His defense was also a little suspect. He has a good base and can probably be turned into a solid defender at the next level because that will be the way he gets on the court. But he didn’t seem to show a ton of effort against Lawrence Westbrook of Minnesota.

Another thing he does poorly is height. He’s maybe 6’4” and that’s not exactly good size for an NBA shooting guard. Even as athletic as he is, being 6’4” doesn’t give you a lot of wiggle room for error at the next level. He’s not the same level of scorer like a Marcus Thornton type of NBA guard but that might be the best comparison to make. He’s not a good enough playmaker or ball-handler to run the point in the pros so you can’t really consider him as a combo guard. However, his athleticism does give him the upper hand on the guys he’ll be competing against during draft workouts.

Tweets of Madness

@imsohideous @talkhoops Jordan Crawford was rather champish today. Showed some real gangsta magistration in that win over Crocket and Tubbs squad.

@adamosgp @talkhoops #NCAA #MarchMadness Jordan Crawford makes wearing #55 look cool again, despite Jahidi White’s and Andrew DeClerq’s efforts.

@NBAMVP Jordan Crawford is fancy. When I first saw him play I thought he was showing off, but no it’s real athleticism. @talkhoops

Can He Play in the NBA?
I actually think Crawford can be an NBA player. He probably wouldn’t be more than just a 11th or 12th man but he does seem to have something extra to his game that makes him standout above the rest. He’s definitely a player that needs more polish and more control in what he does. He can dribble a bit too much and not be succinct in his movements. The D-League would be a perfect place for him to go early on to make a name for himself and eventually be thrust into the rotation with the Golden State Warriors (because that’s the transitional conduit between the D-League and the actual NBA).

I’d be shocked if Jordan Crawford gets drafted (assuming he doesn’t dominate in the pre-draft workouts) but I’d also be shocked if he’s not in the NBA within three years of working hard in the NBDL.

Consider Jordan Crawford HP approved by me. Look out below, LBJ.


Seth Carstens