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NBA / Sep 1, 2009 / 12:13 pm

Jamal Crawford Will Be Sixth Man Of The Year

Jamal Crawford

The basketball gods were kind to Jamal Crawford this offseason. After enduring a decade of playing for drama-filled, losing franchises (i.e. Isiah), the Hawks rescued Crawford by aquiring him from the dreadful Warriors. Jamal, as we know is infamous for his 10-year old playoff drought – currently the longest for active players. Assuming injuries and/or a major meltdown in A-Town, ‘Mal should see what it’s like for the first time to work past April 14.

Crawford is clearly in a winning situation now with the Hawks. The question now is: where will he fit in with this team and is he okay with not starting? After the team, re-upped with Mike Bibby over the summer, it became crystal clear that Crawford probably was going to come off the bench. For the past two seasons, he started every game he suited up for with the Knicks and Warriors and was among the league leaders in minutes played. Jamal is also a guy who can put up points. He has scored 50 or more points in a game four times in his career and averaged 19.8 in 2008-’09.

I think Jamal is a guy who feels like he should be the focal point of the offense. Remember, he wasn’t happy when he was demoted from starter to bench player a few years back with the Knicks. But I think this time around it will be different. He will have to accept the fact he will get 25-30 minutes a game and less shots. But like Jason Terry and Nate Robinson, Crawford could really thrive in that sixth man/spark plug off the bench role. He can run the point when Bibby is out or he can provide instant offense when needed. Because of his handle and play-making abilities, he will get Joe Johnson easy shots and you better believe he’ll be throwing all sorts of lobs to J-Smooth. He is already also my early candidate for sixth man of the year.

I envision this move by Atlanta to really pay off and maybe bump the Hawks a seeding or two higher come playoff time. Crawford is a player who loves the spotlight and loves to take the last shot, so I think he will be mandatory to watch come May.

What do you guys think? Is Crawford the missing piece for Atlanta? Will he bitch about coming off the bench?

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  • Samza

    Nah. Knicks fan here, and all I can tell ya is that Crawford is a nice guy who gets it going every third game or so. But he’s more trouble than he’s worth. He loves to take the last shot, true. But does he ever make it?

  • Big V

    Yeah, he does occasionally make it. One of his greatest games was when he torched Wade for 50+ and then hit the gamewinner on him.

    I agree that he’ll do well off the bench, as his main responsibility will be to score.

  • ¢

    lol @ big v, you buggin. he lit up wade and miami for 50 and didnt even play the entire 4th quarter dude. they blew miami out i remember watching that game

  • http://nba.com Pathological Lier

    I’d move Joe Johnson(6 ft 7in 240 Ib) over to the 3 & start Jamal @ the 2.

  • heavy d

    The Hawks were already the #4 seed last year. To move up Orlando, Boston, or Cleveland must move down. That would require a chemistry meltdown with newly acquired players or a rash of injuries. I like the acquisition because he replaces Speedy Claxton (the oft-injured guard, not the turtle) and Acie Law (the flop), but I don’t see the Hawks as a higher seed.

  • Kobeef

    I think Atlanta will experiment with Jamal as a starter for a while before they try to label him a sixth man. If Mike Woodson was smart he would try a small-ball (not really) lineup of:

    PG: Bibby/Teague
    SG: Crawford/Evans
    SF: Johnson/Williams
    PF: Josh Smith/Joe Smith (Josh and Joe on the uniforms??)
    C: Horford/Pachulia/Collins

    This would certainly give the hawks enough offensive firepower to hang with anyone in the league.

  • Diego

    Crawford will simply step into Flip Murray’s shoes and be first guard (shooting or point) off the bench. He’ll get plenty of minutes. No way he starts though.

    I don’t know much about Crawford, but Flip did a fantastic job last year as designated gunner off bench. Plus Flip can really drive and would get 1 nice slam off a driving layup pretty much each game. Hope Crawford is true upgrade over Flip. (Don’t laugh; Flip can play.)

    Flip deserves a contract somewhere. Hawks have not yet resigned him, and I really cannot see them doing it. (If they do, there will be major conflict between Flip and Crawford for minutes.)

  • http://thoughtsof100k.blogspot.com 100K

    I think so. He’s more durable than Ginobili and I can really only see Jason Terry being his competition. The dude is a nutcase with his shot selection sometimes but he can ball when he needs to.

  • j-dizub

    History has proven that your team ALMOST ALWAYS has to win AT LEAST 50 games in order to be considered for the 6th Man Award. I don’t think Atlanta will come close to that mark, so Crawford’s odds of winning the award are slim and none.

  • Diego

    Crawford’s odds are slim. Atlanta is still a low profile team (although it will have some tv time this year); the team spreads its points around (Joe, Josh, Bibby, Horford, and Marvin will all get theirs); and Woodson has jerk tendancies, so he may bench Crawford for some stretches.

    Crawford’s best hope is injuries to others, which would allow him to really crank some big points.

  • control

    Crawford’s nickname should be “The Accountant” because he always takes a huge vacation after Tax Day, haha.

  • ¢

    I JUST GOT THE NEW DIME MAG YAAAHHHHHH

    Kevin Durant on the cover, why isnt this being advertised yet? lol

  • Abdul-Salaam

    There are no basketball gods. There is only one God.

  • sk

    i watched him on the warriors and he really didn’t make the team better at any point. he’s a nice guy from all accounts, and he’ll do as the coach asks, but he is just a volume-shooting type that troubles defensively.

  • UncheckedAggression

    sk–You just described the kind of player Nelson often utilizes. Obviously they never really wanted him in GS, so I felt sorry for Crawford. He can definitely be an awesome support player–maybe 6th man would be perfect.

    Samza– I’m not sure if you watched Crawford play at all. He’s one of the most clutch players in the league. He does have a tendency to coast through games though. When he turns it on there isn’t anyone that can stop him.

  • George W Kush Sr

    Atlanta is a great situation for him, coming off the bench mainly to score but he’s a chucker with no memory. Dude just takes any shot he can get, he really thinks he’ll sink anything.

    It could go either way, he’ll most def have some great nights and he does make Atlanta much better but I don’t know about 6th of the year. I’m sure he’ll be pretty up there atleast 4th or 5th in the voting but I think Terry is still the favorite

  • K Dizzle

    What happened to Flip Murray? They the same player anyways…

  • BRUCE

    Crawford should be happy! He might make the post-season for the FIRST time in his career!

  • flavur

    Crawford is a beast I definitely expect him to take clutch shots during the season sometimes instead of Joe at least I hope so.

  • SayItAintSo

    The league is full of these types of players: Ben Gordon, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Jason Terry, etc…

    I want to know when the shooting-guard-stuck-in-the-point-guards-body is going to phase out.

  • robmo35

    Not enough shots for Crawford in the ATL to keep him happy, and once he gets unhappy he is invariably shipped out. Remember the Warriors were the only team crazy enough to express interest in Crawford

  • ctkennedy

    their problem isnt the sixth man what they need to do is start pachulia at the 5 put al at the 4 smith at the 3 help him improve his jumper cause josh smith is the only true game changer on the roster with his size strength length and hops who fuckin with him other than lebron

  • George W Kush Sr

    @ K Dizzle

    I think Flip left for Philly, I could be wrong.

  • mtindore520

    @23
    Flip is still waiting for a contract, Philly had interest but most likely wont sign him(EJordan wants to see LouWill play point)

    Also Jammal did play very solid defense in 05-06 off the bench for Larry Brown in NY, because he had to stay on the floor other than scoring and i believe he will have a similar attitude this season, look for slightly better numbers than his 05-06 campaign, 15 and 4 with some steals

  • mtindore520

    and the Hawks will probably win between 45-50 games…but maybe could gel well and get the 3rd seed, but i doubt it… Jamal will win the award if Jason Terry dont repeat his previous season…

  • doc

    Flip need to come home.Crawford aint better than Flip they at the same level if anything.And Crawford and missing piece dont even go in the same paragraph.Nice scorer,all day.

  • jzsmoove

    If the Hawks a tad faster PG they would be fun to watch. They ok and should win some games.

  • http://dime fan

    Flip Murray would be ideal for the Hornets or Blazers. He’s one of the few unguardable players in the league. If Jamal Crawford would adjust his shot selection he could be an all-star. He has a lot of Gilbert Arenas scoring power. When he’s on he’s one of the few that goes for 40 easily. He could also run the point very well. What I dont understand about these players is that if they’d adjust their game for the better. It would increase their value and wins for any team that was smart. If Flip improves his range he could start for half the N.B.A.

  • John D

    As a Warriors fan, I watched him a lot last year. He’s best suited as a sixth man off the bench where he can just jack it up. Can’t run an offense and can’t/won’t play D. I think he’ll be good for the Hawks though. We already have similar player in Cory Maggette, plus numerous ones and twos. I was happy to see him go.

  • Will

    yall buggin. JCraw should start at the point, bring mike bibbys ass off thebench.

    Craw is really a poiint, but they always play him at the two because his team already has a point. In NY it was Marbury and in GS there was Monte and Steve Jax ran point belive it or not

  • Will

    Dont let his2 guard shot selection pull your eyes over his point guard skills. When he does run point he does not shoot that much.

    I would say that his shot %is so low because he takes ALL last second shots even if its 3/4 court he dont care about making his FG% LOOK good. Some gaurds just dribble it out.

    Just something small that most bball fans dont think of when talking shot %

  • http://sevendeu2u.wordpress.com/ Seven Duece

    Other than Joe Johnson & Al Horford, now NO ONE on that team will be able to resist chucking up some stupifying shots. I wish Jamal got traded to Cleveland or Miami. I shudder thinking how much he & Wade would be crossing players left and right.

  • http://astrokidz.blogspot.com T.J.

    @9 I could have swore winning 47 games last season was close to 50. I guess I could be wrong.

    I think Jamal and Jeff will be a great duo off the bench. I don’t think they’ll start Craw just off the fact that our defense would be horrible in the backcourt lol. I think we’ll surprise some teams this season tho.

  • sleepy

    I think that Crawford will win the 6th man if Atlanta is a top 3 seed in the east at years end.

    Also lets not forget he averages almost 5 apg as well so even if hes not scoring if the Hawks are winning he wont have any complaints at all about coming off the bench because this is his first real shot at the playoffs .

    I think on the Hawks will help the team more off the bench because he brings a change of pace to Bibby style. But he can play the point but hes never played the point with anyone else being able to carry the team offensively.I remember him playing the point for a few games with the knicks in 07/08 and he did well when the team was able to find other scorers but was forced into chucking when they couldnt .

    The beauty of the Hawks is he doesnt have to try and carry them(thats Joes burden) and gets to come off the bench and just fill in the blanks. I expect to see some highlight reels alley-oops this season as I think people underrate his passing.

  • http://thoughtsof100k.blogspot.com 100K

    Flip?

    Unguardable?

    Ha!

  • Smiles11

    Samza! You cannot be serious, he is the only reason the knicks got a little respect! And does he ever make it?! UR not a true knicks fan talkin this garbage and you dont watch NBA BASKETBALL! Hit youtube and see how many games he saved for your sorry ass knicks!

  • http://www.ajc.com/hawks Ariose

    It’s J-Smoove NOT J-Smooth….lol

  • http://www.ajc.com/hawks Ariose

    He’s not playing the Point for usRookie Jeff Teague is…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U29cvwn8hL0