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Jamal Crawford is in a contract year and that’s a bad thing.

Nov 22, 2010, 7:26 PM EDT

Miami Heat v Atlanta Hawks Getty Images

Often, guys have record years when they are playing for a new contract (or at least they are more aggressive and take more shots, so their point total goes up).

It is having the opposite impact on Jamal Crawford.

Cawford this season has not been the same guy who won the Sixth Man of the Year award going away last season. His shooting percentage has dropped from 45 percent to 41 percent, and on three balls from 38 percent to 30 percent. He is rebounding less, turning the ball over more, his PER dropped from an All-Star level 18.4 down to a below average 13.9. He’s not the same.

When asked why he gave a very interesting answer to FanHouse — he’s distracted by not having a contract extension.

“I’m overthinking,” Crawford said in an interview with FanHouse before Monday’s home game against Boston. “I think with everything going on, I’m just thinking too much and not just playing basketball. … I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t crossed my mind, you know, the future. … Everything’s been a little bit of a distraction.”

Crawford had pushed for a contract extension before, like a lot of guys have going into this CBA, but the lack of one seems to have him unsettled now. It hasn’t impacted the Hawks too much so far, but if they are going to take the steps forward management wants from them Crawford is going to have to be a part of that because he is playing better. And that kind of play might get him the contract he wants.

  1. downtowndanny - Nov 23, 2010 at 3:18 AM

    i would think Josh Smith would be a priority for this team so Jamal should be happy with whatever deal they throw on the table. I like him but he’s not a starter anywhere in the league, his 6th man role suits his skillset. when reality sets in he’ll take what they offer him, because this is his best chance to play for a playoff team, all the real contenders are already loaded and or wouldn’t want him anyway. Besides, why would he want to leave the ATL with all those fine southern girls down there. So slump or no slump they need him as much as he needs them, and he’ll come out of it and bring that added spark the bench needs, the season is still early, dam, relax!

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