On Wednesday afternoon, the Golden State Warriors acquired Jordan Crawford and MarShon Brooks from the Boston Celtics. The thinking behind the trade from the Warriors perspective was simple: Toney Douglas was not working out in terms of on-court production and they need someone on the second unit to create their own shot and relieve Stephen Curry for five minutes at a time. Someone to be their Jarrett Jack of this season.
Crawford seems like a good fit. He can create his own shot, but also set up shots for his teammates. In Brad Stevens’ offense this season, he has played the best basketball of his career running both the point and moving to the two. But the Warriors are trying to band-aid a cut that is in desperate need of stitches and even with this addition, the cut still has not healed.
I like Jordan Crawford as a heat-check guy, as a guy who can come in off the bench and light up the opposing team for five to seven minutes at a time. If he is hot, you leave him in the game. If he is ice cold, you take him out. But he is not a pure backup point guard like Andre Miller or Kirk Hinrich, the two guards who were mentioned in trade rumors to the Warriors.
Crawford’s numbers are very solid. In the month of December, he averaged 15.5 points, 5.8 assists, and 3.3 rebounds per game. But the key for his successful month of December was his 43 percent shooting percentage.
In January, Crawford has improved his assists totals to seven per game, and his scoring is still solid at 14.3 per contest, but he is shooting a mere 36 percent from the field and 20 percent from three. Look at Jordan Crawford’s shot chart for this season.
There is a lot of red out behind the three point line. And while Crawford does have a unique ability to penetrate to the basket and set up open three point shots as a result of his penetration, he does not exactly fit the Warriors three-point shooting mold. In the month of January, Crawford has made only six of his 29 three point attempts this season. Crawford also is not a great defender (though Douglas wasn’t either), but maybe Mark Jackson can make Crawford work harder on the defensive end of the floor.
Financially, the Warriors are taking on $1.7 million of salary, but Crawford is an upgrade over Douglas. However, he alone is not enough.
To be honest, the addition of Brooks really intrigues me. As a rookie in 2011-12 on the New Jersey Nets, Brooks was the Nets’ starting shooting guard. He averaged 12.6 points per game on 43 percent shooting in thirty minutes of action per game. But the past two seasons, because of his attitude and his lack of defensive ability, he has seldom played. He played in only 10 games for the Celtics, and he could be the steal of the trade if Jackson teaches Brooks to play a bit of defense.