J C Ya

Ahhh Jamal Crawford we knew ye well. Crawford came to New York in a sign & trade with Chicago in 2004. It was one Isiah’s early moves, and I didn’t say much at the time of the trade:

In Crawford, New York gets insurance for Allan Houston, and I’m guessing will be his eventual replacement. (Or else why would the Knicks sign him for so long?) Crawford isn’t nearly the shooter that Houston is, but is able to play the point as well.

Back in 2004 New York’s options at shooting guard were an injured Allan Houston, Shandon Anderson, and Penny Hardaway. So there was a need to stabilize the position. Crawford had a good amount of promise to the naked eye. He had just come off his first starting season for the Bulls at the age of 23. He was a combo guard that could score and run the point.

But less than a month in a Knick uniform, it was easy to spot Crawford’s flaws:

Thankfully, the primary backup for Marbury is the Knicks’ new acquisition Jamal Crawford (16.1, 21.6, +2.4). He has been good offensively, but his defense is porous. Crawford’s thin frame is ill-suited to fight through picks, and too fragile to slow down a drive once the other team gets a step on him. Jamal has an excellent handle, but there is nothing more frustrating than having Crawford settling for a jumper (which comprise 82% of his shots), after he’s faked his defender with a series of fancy dribbles. Crawford should force the issue towards the basket with his great passing and dribbling skills. In addition, he’d do well getting fouled driving to the hoop, since the guy makes a free throw shot look like a layup (86% FT).

Crawford’s only 24, so I hope the Knicks coaching staff can get Jamal to produce a little more before he becomes set in his ways. For someone that will likely be in New York for the next 7 years, I’d like for him to be able to give us a little more production, either on offense and defense. He has excellent skills to build on: quickness, dribbling, a good shot, and that three point buzzer beater shows his confidence. He just needs to be smarter with his shot, and work on his defensive fundamentals. The Knicks announcers always make me chuckle with the line “he gets his hands on a lot of balls”, and Crawford’s one positive aspect on defense is creating turnovers (2.1 STL per 40 minutes).

Comparing Jamal Crawford’s first year as a Knick and to his last full year shows little development. The only real improvement he made was getting to the free throw line more often. But even that gain was offset by his drops in steals, blocks, and rebounds. And his defense has always been awful.

24 NYK 70 14.7 0.398 6.9 0.361 2.9 0.843 2.7 4 1.2 0.3 2 16.6 15.2 0.521 0.483
27 NYK 80 15.7 0.41 5.6 0.356 4.3 0.864 2.3 4.5 0.9 0.2 2.2 18.6 16 0.528 0.473

Crawford was the kind of player people either loved or hated. His dribble and ability to get open made him look like an All Star at times. His love for the fade away jumper and one dimensional game drove others crazy. Some will always remember Crawford’s time in a Knick uniform by his inability to fight through a pick. Others will think about his 52 point game against the Heat.

It was unlikely that Crawford was going to be a part of the Knicks’ future. His $10M in 2011 was probably more an impediment to getting a superstar in New York than a bonus. Shooting guards that score and don’t defend aren’t too hard to find. Certainly you can get one for under $10M a season. Jamal didn’t fit the mold of a D’Antoni player. He liked to hold the ball, a cardinal sin in the seven second offense. And he wasn’t a great spot-up shooter, another requisite for a D’Antoni guard.

For most of his career he has been the #1 or #2 scoring option on his team, and his career record is 168-375 (31%). Crawford is the NBA’s version of baseball’s innings eater. A player who can provide scoring for a mediocre club, but not someone you’d want to use as a major cog on a championship team.

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

14 thoughts to “J C Ya”

  1. He always seemed like a nice, thoughtful guy. Too bad he was so infuriating on the court with his terrible shot selection and non-existent defense.

  2. Glen,
    and coincidentally or not Washington’s starting PG, Dee Brown was 4-4 including 2 3-pointers after going 1-whatever in his previous starts.

  3. I watched Jamal last night and he took a few, “I-can’t-believe-he-took-that-shot” shots last night.
    But at least he was more contained than Harrington, who heaved up 16 shots, missing most of them.

    You know, the Knicks feel like a beat up old airplane in flight that just received replacement parts that must be installed in flight.
    It was limping along with the old parts, but spirals out of control as parts are disassembled and then replaced.
    Will there be enough time to right the airship before the season craters?
    At the least, you will need a master pilot to pull it off, and some luck.

  4. Good God, that game last night was brutal. I understand the motivation for the trades, but seriously…does Dantoni actually think the Knicks are better team because of this? The Knicks bench is like an NHL team’s bench, with an isolated penalty box for players who should never set foot on an NBA court. Problem is, our penalty box is bursting at the seams with the addition of Tim Thomas and Harrington, who takes more bad shots than the late Jamal. 2010 cap space is nice, but it’s an awfully hard pill to swallow having to watch a team this bad for the next few seasons. I hope Nate’s balls are ok…we need him out there.

  5. You could tell the fans wanted to go wild last night..just needed a few big shots from lebron in the 3rd or 4th quarter for the ‘lebron chants’ to come out…..too bad it was such a blowout the game was too boring to get excited. still pretty fun tho.

    maybe you might enjoy my summary from the game…maybe not, haha, but check it out: http://breakindownthegame.blogspot.com/

    hey mike k, you got an email address, i can drop you a line?

  6. Anyone read The 10 Most Overrated Players in the NBA by Dime Magazine today? Check out No. 7. Its hard to wholeheartedly disagree after the first 10+ games of the season.

    I’m not very impressed by the list on the whole, who rates guys like Bibby, Felton, Gibson high enough for them to be overrated? Bibby’s having a solid season and he’s the most overrated player in the entire NBA? Bynum’s #3????? He’s one of the best centers in the game and he’s that overrated?

    As far as the #7… He’s struggled a little this year, but I’d still take Lee on my team over Jamal or Zach in a heartbeat.

  7. hey mike k, you got an email address, i can drop you a line?

    There’s an email me icon under the title of every page article. I don’t give out my email address since I get enough spam as it is. But that will reach me.

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