Why You Should Give Jordan Crawford A Chance

Feb. 22, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Phoenix Suns forward Michael Beasley (0) handles the ball against Boston Celtics guard Jordan Crawford (27) in the second half at US Airways Center. The Celtics defeated the Suns 113-88. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

I love Jordan Crawford.

Sure it was only one game, but I’m all in. Is it a trap? Well, ya, I guess there’s a chance, but I don’t care. I’m driving the Jordan Crawford bandwagon, and there’s plenty of room for everyone to hop aboard.

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Now, the trade deadline was a strange time to be a Celtics fan. Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett were all on the block. There were daily rumors of trade talks, and talks being called off and blowing it all up, or not blowing it all up.

No one knew what was going to happen. Heck, Danny Ainge probably didn’t even know.

And then suddenly, as the deadline closed in, a different name emerged in Celtics’ trade talks:

Jordan Crawford.

The Celtics shipped Leandro Barbosa (out for the year with a torn ACL) and big man Jason Collins to the Wizards for the young Crawford.

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The move was unexpected, especially after all the talks involving Rondo, Pierce and Garnett. Initially, it was met with some confusion. Why were the Celtics trading for a guard when they desperately needed a big man? Some also disliked the move because of Crawford’s reputation as an inefficient gunner. Now, Crawford definitely likes to shoot. But who doesn’t?

Despite any concerns that people may have had initially, this trade can work out well for the Celtics.

First of all, Crawford is a scorer, pure and simple. Since he first came into the league in 2010 that has been his reputation. However, his main flaw is that he has never met a shot he doesn’t like. Crawford is full of confidence, and it can lead to poor shot selection, as shown by his 41.5% field goal percentage.

Doc Rivers mentioned it immediately when asked about the trade, saying,

“Listen, he’s a scorer. Most scorers don’t have a conscience, and that’s a good thing,” Rivers said. “What you try to teach him is the difference between a good [shot] and a bad one. But you don’t want to take away — if he’s a great scorer, great scorers make bad shots.”

Granted, he will probably still take some bad shots, but Crawford’s bench scoring will be huge for the Celtics. As he did last night, Crawford will come off the bench and play in the second unit with either Jason Terry or Terrence Williams. With Crawford, the Celtics finally have another player who can go get his own shot when the offense is stagnant or the shot clock is winding down

For many years, Paul Pierce has been the Celtics’ only player who could create his own shot. This is why Rondo was so valuable. He was always capable of finding shots for guys. Without Rondo, the Celtics’ offense has actually been pretty good overall, but they still go through stretches where the offense is painful to watch. Just check out the tape from their game against Chicago a few weeks ago.

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Given a chance, Crawford has shown he can play, as evidenced by his per 36 minute stats. According to NBA.com, he is averaging 18 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists per 36 minutes. Seeing as the Celtics picked him up, they are clearly willing to give Crawford that chance.

The most important part of River’s quote from earlier is this:

“What you try to teach him is the difference between a good [shot] and a bad one.”

And what better place for Crawford to learn and grow as a player than under Rivers, Garnett and Pierce. Crawford is only 24 and in his 3rd season in the league. He clearly has the talent; he just needs to put it all together. With Rivers and company showing him the way, there’s no reason to believe Crawford can’t become a very solid option off the bench.

At the very least, it’s gonna be a fun ride. So come on everybody, jump aboard the bandwagon. Give Jordan Crawford and all his steez a shot.