With road wins against both the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets so far this week, the Washington Wizards are coming into action on Saturday afternoon against the Boston Celtics playing at a very high level.
Set for a 1 p.m. tip-off in Boston, however, Washington will have to deal with game planning for a familiar friend: Jordan Crawford.
Crawford played with the Wizards for three seasons before being traded to Boston midway through last year’s campaign. So far, so good for the young scorer-turned-floor-general.
Crawford has been filling in for Rajon Rondo as the team’s point guard, and the Celtics are in first place in large part due to his play. He is averaging almost 14 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per-game, and has shown the ability to do whatever the team needs of him to win.
Under first-year head coach Brad Stevens, the once proclaimed ‘selfish’ guard is proving that he deserves a label far different.
Former first overall pick and Washington point guard John Wall downplayed the matchup between he and Crawford, but did say he would be ready for action.
“I know how he is. I know how he likes to play,” Wall said. “"He's an aggressive person that likes to score the ball. You got to go out there and play your game the same way and not make it into a one-on-one matchup."
Wizards coach Walt Wittman was also asked about the play of Crawford, and if he was surprised to see the transformation from a scorer into a ball-handler.
“No, not really,” Wittman said to awnser the question. “They've got two guys, he and (Avery) Bradley, taking turns with the ability to play that position. He's shown here at times being able to do that. He has had triple-doubles here. We know the ability that Jordan has."
Wittman seems to be a bit unclear here, because Boston’s second ball handler for a majority of the season has often been rookie Phil Pressey. While Bradley does do some ball handling occasionally, he is certainly by any means not taking turns with Crawford, so to speak.
That being said, I wonder if Crawford will have an added level of motivation going into this particular game, knowing that the Wizards once dumped him for just Jason Collins.