- Here's that Jordan Crawford piece I wrote for the Daily Dime (#9) yesterday:
In his first two summer league appearances, Jordan Crawford displayed good basketball instincts. That's not unusual to see in summer league, but rarely in this setting does that trait come with both the athleticism and skill to take advantage of good instincts. The results: 36 points on 27 shots, seven assists against just four turnovers and six steals in his first taste of professional basketball. In his third game, Crawford's youth betrayed him. Matched up against DeMarcus Nelson for much of the game, Crawford struggled to create space for himself against the similarly framed but markedly older and stronger defender. He still scored 12 points but he needed 12 field goal attempts and six free throw attempts to do so. Lesser numbers to be sure, but far from shameful for a 21-year-old facing an NBA-quality defender for the first time. The game wasn't a complete washout for Crawford. Those good instincts were still apparent. In transition, he looks to pass ahead as often as he looks to finish. When the Hawks' motion offense stretched the Bucks' defense in the half court (as it did often in the 83-60 victory) Crawford consistently made himself available, often with the next pass rather than a shot for himself in mind. He earned three more assists, committing just one turnover. It's unlikely that Crawford will get significant minutes for the Hawks this season. Joe Johnson, Jamal Crawford and Maurice Evans all figure to slot ahead of him in the rotation. As time passes, and if his body matures to match his game, it's easy to imagine him proving to have been a tremendous use of the 27th pick in the NBA draft.
- Colleagues former (Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk) and current (Matt Moore** of everywhere) joined me courtside for the Hawks/Bucks Summer League tilt. Kurt focused on Jeff Teague. Matt offered thoughts on both Teague and Richard Hendrix.
- Word's out that ownership is not willing to go over the luxury tax line. I certainly don't think they should do so to sign Shaquille O'Neal (or any other veteran center). Nor do I believe that this demonstrates an unwillingness to spend money. I can think of four contracts that quite clearly demonstrate the opposite. The problem with this organization is an inability to spend wisely. I have no reason to assume they don't want to win, they're just not very clever in their efforts to accomplish that goal.
- Hawks v. D-League Select, for those of you without Summer League Broadband, can first be seen at 7am (EDT) Sunday on NBA TV.
**True story: the first thing Matt Moore said to me in person, "How does Alade look?" Furthermore, he meant it.