Though Crawford played some point guard in high school, he admitted the new role presents several challenges. “I mean, it’s tough because we struggle to score. And me being at the point causes me to give up opportunities a couple times to get everybody else involved. I think I'm handling that good.”
Crawford knows reputations are hard to shake, but he is taking a shot at changing how he is defined. He can do more than score.
“I can pass easily, but I'm such a dominant scorer that people think I can’t pass,” he said. “They got to start watching the game.”
He is the same player who repeatedly called his own number to hit a flurry of three-pointers to lead a failed rally in a recent loss against Golden State, but was willing to look for Earl Barron to take and make the shot that forced overtime against Atlanta, ignoring that Barron had missed his first seven shots.
Crawford is conscious of the criticisms that he is an unconscious gunner and has become more guarded and defiant because of it. He responds by pulling up deeper from beyond the three-point line or taking more pull-up jumpers in transition. But his teammates understand that on a team with few offensive options, Crawford’s fearlessness is necessary.
“I don’t want to take anything from Jordan at all,” swingman Martell Webster said, “because his confidence contributes to this team.”
“Jordan’s always going to keep fighting,” Wittman said. “He might not always take the best shots, I might scratch my head and look to the ceiling sometimes, but I do know he’s going to compete. He’s going to try. That’s who he is.”
Crawford is also not going to handle defeat very well. The losses have been a strain for the last-place Wizards (3-20), but Crawford said he refuses to let them crush his spirit. “Every day is a new day. When we go into games, we have a chance to win close games,” he said. “We don't think we’re going to lose at all. We think we going to win. No matter how many times we lose, every day we think we going to win the next one.”