We already know Nellie’s answer to this question, but I want yours. He has only been with the team for 48 games. But the Warriors are going to have to decide on what to do with him this offseason, assuming he doesn’t opt out.
Thanks to Tony.psd for the hot graphic. Click here to check out his work.
THE CASE FOR JAMAL CRAWFORD TO STAY
The off-the-court qualities are unquestionable. Trouble-free guy. Great personality. Charitable. Good representative for the team. Considering one of the reasons the Warriors had concern about Baron Davis was his off-the-court qualities, it seems that is important to the Warriors. With guys like Monta Ellis and Stephen Jackson on the team, the Warriors could use a model citizen in the mix. Crawford doesn’t drink, smoke or party. He doesn’t pop-off to the media. And he’s the consummate teammate.
On the court, he’s the best point guard the Warriors have and perhaps the best they can get. Elite point guards are hard to come by, and the Warriors gave up theirs. The chances they go out and get another one is slimmer than Crawford.
When it comes to talent, he’s got plenty of it, and he’s still eager to learn more. He brings a flair to the game that fits the Warriors’ style of play. He can play both guard posititions (though he’d have to spend the offseason working on his spot-up jumper) and he can get you 25 no sweat.
Most important, in the fourth quarter, Crawford is the only guy they have on the team who can reliably get the shot he wants for himself or for someone else. And he’s a proven clutch player. According to 82games.com, Crawford is ninth in the league in clutch scoring (behind Kobe, Lebron, D-Wade, Carmelo, Chris Paul, Nate Robinson, Dirk Nowitzki and Brandon Roy; FYI: Maggette is the next Warrior at 44; Last year, Jackson was 10th and BD was 17th).
THE CASE FOR JAMAL CRAWFORD TO GO
It doesn’t seem like he and Monta Ellis can play together (even Nellie thinks so, hence him deeming Jax the shooting guard and pushing Crawford out the door). Since the Warriors have committed $66 million to Ellis, then Crawford is obviously the one who has to go. The Warriors simply need a better defender to play next to Monta, who is a liability on defense. Two liabilities in the same backcourt is a recipe for disaster.
Crawford has not displayed the beast we are used to from Baron. If he is going to be the point guard, he needs to be obviously in control. He does too much deferring and side-stepping. He’s too nice in that sense. Somebody needs to be able to get Jax under control, reign in Ellis from time-to-time, keep Anthony Randolph from bubbling over. Maybe that comes with time, or maybe he just doesn’t have it in him. The Warriors need it though.
But since Ellis has been deemed the point guard, keeping Crawford would mean he plays the shooting guard (until Nellie switches back). He’s not a good enough spot up shooter to play the two-guard for the Warriors. Jason Richardson worked himself into a good spot up shooter. Maybe Crawford can. But now, he is hardly as effective when Monta is running the point and Nellie shoves him in the corner or on the wing while Ellis or Jackson runs the pick-and-roll. Crawford is better with the ball in his hands, making plays happen. The problem is, so is Ellis, though he can get his without running the point so much as he did with Baron.
Enough of me talking. What do you think? Should Crawford stay or go?