By now the idea of the mildly attractive girl who hangs out with female friends that appear to have done some hard drinking in the Old West just to make herself appear more attractive by comparison is a cliche so overused that it’s no longer true. At this point, when I see a moderate six or an annoying seven, I’m on the hunt for her gross friends. They’re there. Like those optical hidden picture puzzles, just because I can’t see ’em right away doesn’t mean they aren’t there. You can’t fool me, Average Girl. All you’re doing is pointing out to the world that you have poor choice in friends. And really, I don’t think the Wizards are all that different from Average Girl except maybe that there are three of them and twice the number of terrible friends. So what does that mean? Well, besides signifying that I choose my weekend singles locations poorly, it also means we need to separate the weak from the crap on this Wizards team, or however that farmer’s idiom goes. Anyway, speaking of idioms, here’s what we can expect from Jordan Crawford in 2011 fantasy basketball.
In 26 games with the Wizards, Crawford averaged 33.3 minutes in a run consisting almost entirely of a Young-less, Blatche-less, Maurice Evans-full roster. Considering JaVale McGee was the only player on the roster to miss fewer than 13 games last season, I’m not willing to say that Crawford won’t see equal burn next season too, but I wouldn’t count on it. And I wouldn’t count on him stealing Young’s SG spot to start next season either. As surprising as Crawford was down the stretch (wheat!), he did a lot of things poorly that stick out (wait, no. Chaff). He didn’t shoot threes well, didn’t get to the line, turned the ball over more than a SG should and shot .390 as a starter. To be fair, he averaged four more minutes per game in April than he did in March, yet scored 1.2 fewer points. Why? Because he improved his passing game (rising from 3.7 March dimes – my favorite old-timey charity! – to 5.4 in April). But that’s the kind of improvement that solidifies his position as one of the first players off the bench, not maintaining 33 mpgs next season. That said, the kid has potential, probably more than he showed considering all that was working against him: Last season he was a rookie whose only real burn came when he torched the preseason league, leading it in scoring. Then he was traded and forced to learn a brand new everything on a team riddled with injuries and more confused than the Hawks. (And that’s saying something!) Actually, the level of D.C.’s injuries are a better argument against him producing at all next season. You throw a a salt lick in an empty field, even the dumbest cows are gonna have a lick. While I think Crawford steals a handful of Young’s minutes next season, and even a few of Wall’s, it won’t make up all 33 from this season, but it will shore up the 37/38 Young/Wall averaged. He won’t repeat his 33.3 mpg/16.3/3/3.9, with 1.4 steals, but with a small uptick on his field goal percentage, I can see 26 mpg/13/2.5/3.5, with two threes+steals per game in 2011.