Wizards’ Jordan Crawford “not tripping” on early slump

Jordan Crawford doesn’t think that his current slump will last for long.


I’m going to be okay. (Nick Wass/AP)

The past four games have not gone well for Crawford, as he tries to find his footing as a sixth man, backing up John Wall and Nick Young.

Crawford has shot just 5 of 27 (18.5 percent) and is averaging 4.0 points since the calendar year began and had his worst outing of the season in the Wizards’ 99-96 loss on Friday against the New York Knicks. He went scoreless for the first time in a game in which he played at least 10 minutes. Crawford missed all four of his shot attempts and committed two turnovers, including one in the fourth quarter.

“I’m going to get through it,” said Crawford, who is averaging 8.0 points this season. “Shot starts falling, I know I’m going to be good. It’s going to happen. It’s going to come. It’ll come to the light. Everything come to the light. I’m not tripping on it.”

Crawford has never been short on confidence, but he has dealing with confusion as he tries to determine when to set up his teammates or call his own number. “It’s always tough, when you’re a guy coming in and you don’t know who you’re coming in for exactly, because in those situations, fouls can determine it,” Coach Flip Saunders said. “It’s something he’s got to work on.”

Crawford was the opening day starter and scored 15 points against New Jersey, but had a rough outing in his return to Atlanta that led to him getting benched in favor of Young.

He responded to his new role by scoring a team-high 24 points against Milwaukee, but has yet to get consistent playing time. Crawford said the reason for his problems is easy to explain.

“No rhythm,” he said, hinting at the difficulty of moving back to a reserve role. “It’s tough. It’s definitely tough. Super tough. Especially when you come into it looking for one thing, not looking for it, but you know, that’s what you want. That’s what you’ve been working hard on, then it flip on you. Now I’m just adjusting.”

Crawford has thrived when given the green light to shoot on offense, but Saunders has asked him to be more of a playmaker off the bench whenever he fills in for Wall and he hasn’t been as effective.

“Playing the point is cool. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” Crawford said. “I can play the point. I can drop dimes just as good as I can score. I got to get some time to do some things.”

But more than his individual struggles, Crawford wants the Wizards to finally add a notch to the left side of the win-loss column. He wasn’t satisfied with the team playing the Knicks close before Carmelo Anthony made the decisive three-pointer in the closing seconds.

“It’s still a loss, at the end of the day. We need ‘W’s. Moral victory stuff, that’s for the little kids,” Crawford said. “We need a W – 0-7 – that’s not a good look on anybody. Hopefully, we can get one.”

Michael Lee is the national basketball writer for The Washington Post.

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