During the Wizards’ current four-game winning streak, Jordan Crawford has played a total of 11 minutes and 11 seconds (11:11, make a wish; Jordan Crawford wishes for more playing time and is denied). Crawford’s minutes per game average has fallen off a cliff since John Wall returned, going from 29.9 all the way down to 16.8, as Randy Wittman seems to become more and more disenchanted with the enigmatic young shooting guard by the day.
Crawford has now recorded two straight DNPs, putting the exclamation point on his fall from grace. The fall seemed sudden and is surprising to some, especially when you consider that Crawford’s individual statistics are the best of his career (TS%, AST%, ORtg, DRtg, WS, WS/48). All of those metrics are even comparable to almost-All-Stars JR Smith and Jamal Crawford. So what the hell happened? Why did he disappear? With a little digging, his benching should come as no surprise.
First off, the Wizards don’t seem to miss him one bit. This likely tells us that his individual production was hollow from the beginning. Without John Wall or Nene to start the year, there was little this team could do that didn’t heavily involve Jordan Crawford. This individually benefited Crawford and his ball-dominating style of play, but did not translate to wins. We shouldn’t be surprised that an offense run through and by Jordan Crawford struggled to score.
The most alarming part of Crawford’s measurables is his atrocious on-court/off-court production. He has one of the worst plus-minus totals in the league and a negative net points per possession (PPP), all while other starter caliber Wizards (John Wall, Emeka Okafor, Nene, Martell Webster, Trevor Ariza) are posting positive net points per possession. Of Wizards who have been on the court for more than 20% of the total available minutes, only Kevin Seraphin has a worse mark in PPP.
Oh, but it gets worse, especially in the near term. Thanks to the wonderful website nbawowy.com, we can easily determine how the team shoots and defends with and without Crawford on the court. All of the following numbers are from the day John Wall returned on January 12th.
Holy cow. You may notice that the Wizards are better at LITERALLY EVERYTHING except FT% without Crawford on the court in the last month. Washington scores significantly more often on much higher percentages while assisting more buckets when Crawford sits.
Again, with Crawford off the court the team has been better at literally everything. The defense allows less points per possession while forcing worse percentages and worse shots while blocking significantly more of those same shots while Crawford is sitting.
All of this information is almost unbelievably bad. Jordan Crawford has been only a detriment since Wall’s return and the Wizards are doing the right thing by leaving a player who is supposed to be a microwaveable scorer on the bench. The Wizards perform substantially better, especially recently, with Crawford riding pine. Wittman has it right.