Did Jamal Crawford ever reach his ceiling?
One of the greatest bench scorers in NBA history, a guy who did it for a very long time having a very long NBA career. But was this a good as it could've got for him? Watching a young Jamal Crawford was so entertaining, one of the most taleneted offensive players I've ever seen, not too many players had the arsenal Crawford has. But could he have been more than this? I'm quite young so early in his career, what were people expecting him to be eventually? What were you guys expecting him to be?
I think Crawford's career has actually exceeded any expectations I had for him. For him to still be playing at a very high level 17 years in is pretty remarkable (although he is finally beginning to show his age a bit this season).
Crawford isn't a guy that really found his niche as an NBA player until later in his career. He was always very talented and could score the ball as well as almost anyone. Earlier in his career he was kind of a guy that would put up numbers and highlights but didn't really contribute to winning basketball. Once he got to Atlanta and later LA, he really settled into that sixth man role, and it really changed the whole trajectory of his career.
Crawford has never been a great defender by any means and his shot selection has always been questionable to say the least. However, he is also one of the best bad shot shooters in NBA history. He takes a lot of shots most players would have no business taking, but he is that rare player that can actually make a pretty good percentage of them. He is basically a guy that you can't coach, you just have to let him go out there and do his thing and trust the results. In a larger role, the weaknesses in his game get exposed more. However, in the role he has found later in his career, he is absolutely perfect. You could always argue that pretty much any player could have been better. However, I'd say Crawford did reach his potential as an NBA player. It just took him and the rest of the league awhile to see what kind of player that potential would allow him to be.
His best year statistically was 2007-08 when he averaged over 20ppg. That is the only year in his career he has averaged over 20ppg. So for him to be over a 15ppg across 17 years in the NBA shows what a consistent scorer he has been across the bulk of his career.
Actually when he was a 6th man his 48mins ppg is much better than when he was a starter.
To still be an excellent player at turning 37 today, shows what a good career he has had. Okay he never made an all star game but has become one of the greatest 6th men ever and is the sort of guy a lot of neutrals would like to see get a title.
He gained a bad reputation after Larry Brown played him at point guard during that ridiculous Knicks season. Brown's miscasting made Crawford look woefully inept. His time with the Clippers gave him his destined role and saved his career.