Jun 05, 2008, 08:36 pm
Crawford had yet another good camp here at Orlando, following up his solid showing at Portsmouth by showing us once again that he can score the ball and do a few other things as well. He only measured out at 64 in shoes in the combine, as expected, with average length at 65 ¾, but his 36 inch max vertical is promising. Looking at Crawfords four years in college, theres a clear trend of him noticeably improving both his points per game and field goal percentage every season (up to 18 points on 47% shooting this year), which is encouraging, though his career free-throw percentage is around 70% and hes never shot better than 36% from behind the arc.
Offensively, Crawford has a balanced attack, mixing in perimeter shooting with a dribble-drive game, though not really especially excelling with either. Off the dribble, he can pull up for a jumper or take it to the basket, being able to go left or right, slightly preferring the right. He doesnt have the best first step in pure isolation, but does a good job coming off screens or catching and going on the move with the ball. In the lane, he has a decent repertoire of moves, making use of crossover, jab steps, and spin moves, weaving them together well and pulling off some impressive sequences. Despite his size, he finishes well at the basket as he takes contact well and makes good use of his vertical leap. Crawford is also comfortable shooting off the dribble from mid or long range, and has a right-handed floater in his arsenal, though its inconsistent.
Crawfords spot-up jump shot has very good form, boasting a fairly deliberate release (but not in a bad way), with near textbook mechanics and a high and consistent release point. Its important to note, though, that this is only talking about his spot-up jumper, as his mechanics dont stay quite so great when hes pulling up off the dribble, contested, or coming around a screen. He doesnt do a great job keeping his feet underneath him when coming around a screen or when hes contested, throwing his balance off and resulting in some questionable shots. He also can rush his mechanics at times when contested, and is prone to not holding his follow through in these situations. His shooting percentages fall off considerably when hes contested, though not very much when hes pulling up off the dribble in space.
In terms of the rest of his offense, Crawford does a good job finishing off cuts and in transition using his leaping ability and ability to adjust in traffic. Hes a decent ball-handler and a decent passer, though is by no means a point guard, and its questionable if he stands out enough in any one area to find a niche in the league.
Defensively, Crawford plays a fundamentally sound, focused, and aggressive game, doing a good job with both on and off ball defense. Off the ball, he doesnt give up and always contests shots, though he has some trouble getting around screens, as most college players do. On the ball, he has good lateral quickness and reflexes, while doing a very good job moving his feet and pressuring his man, rarely getting beat off the dribble or giving up an open shot. At 64, he could have some trouble guarding 2s at the next level.
Crawford is someone who could sneak into the second round if a team really likes him, and he should have some chances to go up against more highly touted wings in private workouts. Regardless, hell have an opportunity to make a team in summer league, and would likely be a top call-up candidate if he went the D-League route. At this stage of his development, though, he may not do one thing well enough to find himself a niche in the league, and it may take a few more years development before he does.