Jordan Crawford making most of opportunity

Jordan Crawford making most of opportunity
March 17, 2011, 6:58 pm
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Thursday March 17, 2011 4:32 p.m.


By Frank Hanrahan

It was the video that Nike didn't want you to see. In the summer of 2009, then Xavier sophomore to-be, Jordan Crawford, dunked on NBA superstar and Nike endorser LeBron James at a summer pickup game. Nike suits went so far as to confiscate all cameras that caught the young kid dunking on the All-Star. When word got out, the dunk no one saw made national news and Crawford his 15 minutes of fame.

Fast forward two years now, and Crawford's 15 minutes are long gone, and he is just trying to make a name for himself in the NBA with the Washington Wizards. Crawford came to the Wizards at the trade deadline as part of the deal that sent Kirk Hinrich to the Hawks. Currently, with a glut of injuries afflicting Washington, Crawford is getting his chance to show he can play at this level.

In Atlanta, that wasn't going to happen for the 6'-4" guard, who left Xavier after just one year. Stuck playing behind All-Star Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford (no relation), Jordan Crawford couldn't crack the rotation in Atlanta and he played sparingly.

In his first home game for the Wizards in late February, Crawford showed he was not shy, coming out firing against Dallas in a 105-99 loss. Crawford finished with 10 points and hit a clutch jumper to tie the game late.
"You can't develop without playing time," Crawford said. " I was always the type of person where I felt I got better five-on-five. When you play a game, that's how you really get better."In 10 games with the Wizards so far, Crawford has shown flashes of his scoring and some time his passing, averaging 11 points and 2.2 assists a game. He has a tendency to force 3-point shots, and rarely makes them, hitting on just 18 percent of 33 tries.
"He is playmaker and he has the ability to score," Wizards coach Flip Saunders said about Crawford. "He is extremely talented. He has no fear going against anybody."Against Chicago on Tuesday night, Crawford got his second start of his career, and he came out in attack mode, scoring 21 first-half points as the Wizards kept it close with the Eastern Conference leading Bulls for one half. Crawford finished with a career high 27 points and played all 48 minutes, mostly in part because starting shooting guard Nick Young, was out with a knee injury."In the NBA it can be a 360, and the next day you never know what can happen," said Crawford after the Bulls game. "Luckily I was ready. I want to feed off this game and keep going." Saunders liked what he saw out of Crawford against the Bulls and would to see more the rest of the season. "He really competed hard, made some nice plays for people," Saunders said. "He was not one dimensional. Shot perimeter shots, got to the rim, did a little bit of everything.