Crawford stretches his boundaries

Crawford stretches his boundaries
December 11, 2012, 3:00 pm
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It’s safe to say that a coach has never had to ask Jordan Crawford to shoot the basketball.

Pass it? Now that’s another story.

Beginning tonight in New Orleans against the Hornets [8 p.m., CSN HD], Wizards coach Randy Wittman will ask his 24-year-old shooting guard to play the point in place of the injured A.J. Price.

Through 17 games, four of which he started, Crawford is leading the Wizards in scoring with 14.2 points a game. But – surprise, surprise – he’s also second on the team in assists with 3.9, behind only Price’s 4.9 assists per game.

“Everybody sees him just as being a scorer, but he’s a great passer, he can find guys,” said Wizards swingman Martell Webster, who is fifth on the Wiz in scoring at 8.5 points per game. “That may be one of the hidden talents people haven’t seen. He does have court vision.”

Crawford, 24, has been one of the few bright spot in an otherwise dark season for the Wizards and his teammates say it has everything to do with his drive.

“He enjoys playing, he wants to win and he’s very competitive,” center Emeka Okafor said. “He has a knack for scoring and he can put the ball in the bucket.

“This year he made a more concerted effort to pass. His court vision is improving and there’s a willingness there to embrace it.”

With Shaun Livingston designated as the Wizards’ other point guard, it will be interesting to see how Crawford responds to running the floor alongside rookie shooting guard Bradley Beal.

“He has an all-around game,” Webster said of Crawford. “He can defend the best of them, he can score against the best of them.

“He’s resilient and he will not back down from anything. He plays through injury, has heart and now I can really see that flame in him. He has a passion to win and if he keeps that mentality the sky’s the limit with him.”