Jordan Crawford - DNP

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.

Washington Wizards net points per 100 possessions. Courtesy of


Oh, but it gets worse, especially in the near term. Thanks to the wonderful website, 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.

Tags: Jordan Crawford Washington Wizards

  • nich obert

    I’m guessing you could find 400 possession stretches that make everyone look bad. I womder if thats especially true for guys who were asked to carry the entire offense for 20 games and then shunted straight to role player? Jamal Crawford and JR Smith have been on playoff teams for years and their team has always been outscored with them out there.

    Would you play Garrett Temple over Monta Ellis and give Monta DNPs? And what would you do with him? Try and dump him for peanuts like some suggest (bet that phones ringing nonstop) Or try and tailor a role to his strengths instead of using him in one that amplifies his weaknesses? Because Monta has been worse at everything for 2 years running yet gets viewed as a star by some people. Meanwhile, DC is disrespecting Crawford- unless, and this is a HUGE unless- they really have a plan to change his role and they’re just confident in playing who they have while they work Crawford. IMO he can easily escape the Monta / JR Smith ghetto and ascend to the Jason Terry class of 6th Men.

    Crawford isn’t the only guy in the NBA who should never touch the ball 30 feet from the basket, but he has been allowed to operate so freely for so long, it seems like a tacit encouragement.

    Got him cheap next year, can’t wait to see what they so with him. I don’t care if we keep him, I just want them to crank his value up. The Wiz are the only team in the NBA that consistently trades from a position of weakness. I don’t get it. So I’m nervous they they think benching Crawford for weeks and then trading him for 20% of what his value was 45 days ago is “getting what we can”

    This offseason, Ariza+Seraphin+Crawford for Ilyasova and Tobais Harris?

    • James Straton

      This is an awesome response. I’m flattered you took the time to type out all of these thoughts.

      I can’t say I totally disagree with you. Jordan Crawford is clearly a skilled player who can do some good things, but you cannot deny that the team has been better with him off the court, which is crazy when you think of who was playing in his place early in the season (Pargo, Price, first month Beal). Surely, you can reconcile this by saying he had to make due without Nene or Wall and with an early bad Beal, but I don’t believe that absolves him. I mean, the team isn’t better at anything? That is nuts. The best argument is that he happened to play during a stretch that saw Webster and Beal shoot below their ability… I suppose I can buy that.

      The points you make about JR Smith and Jamal Crawford are also well received. I’ve been tweeting non-stop that if either of those two guys were to be All Stars, then so should Jordan be an All Star. I don’t think it’s fair to absolve JR and Jamal of all of their bad basketball qualities just because they play on a good team. Unfortunately, that is how the basketball world works.

      All in all, great response. I appreciate it.