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Is Wizards' Jordan Crawford the odd man out?

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,NBA,Wizards,Craig Stouffer

If there's collateral damage to Washington getting back its best player, it could come in the form of the team's leading scorer.

In the midst of a celebratory Wizards locker room following John Wall's season debut in a 93-83 win over Atlanta, there wasn't a single mention of Jordan Crawford, who missed his second straight game with a sore left ankle.

Could it be a coincidence that the Wizards (6-28) now have their first two-game winning streak of the season?

Despite 15.6 points and 4.6 assists per game and a career-best .418 field goal percentage, Crawford fell out of the starting lineup after arriving late for shootaround Dec. 26. But his fortunes really took a nose dive in last week's 115-113 double overtime loss to Brooklyn. Crawford scuttled the game and his 23 points off the bench with a turnover, two missed jumpers and two missed free throws when he should have been sharing the ball in the first overtime. He has been barely seen or heard from since.

"Who else gon' shoot?" was Crawford's mantra when the season started. But the Wizards now have options. Not only is Wall back, but rookie Bradley Beal has solidified himself at shooting guard. Martell Webster is finding his range, Trevor Ariza and A.J. Price are both healthy and Garrett Temple can guard three positions.

When Crawford does return, he likely will have to settle into a role as Beal's backup. He also could become just an asset for a team that -- when fully healthy -- doesn't seem to miss his daring but often destructive offensive tendencies.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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