Checking In With Javaris Crittenton

On Saturday, Javaris Crittenton continued his busy off-season by attending NBA Nation and hosting a basketball clinic for kids.

It is the story of Crittenton’s off-season: if you want to find the 6’5" guard, the first place you will want to check is the basketball court.

“I have just been working hard,” said Crittenton. "I’ve been up here for a little bit. At first I went home to see my family. I came back up here and I’ve been working with my personal trainer. He has me running on the football field. When I’m not on the football field, I’m on the court putting up a lot of shots.”

After being acquired by the Wizards in December, Crittenton saw extensive playing time in the Wizards’ backcourt, starting ten of his 56 games for the team and averaging over 20 minutes per game. In just over a half-season with the Wizards, Crittenton showed off the skills that made him a first-round pick in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers.

Still 6 months away from turning 22, Crittenton would just be entering his senior season had he stayed in college. As the second youngest player on the team, Crittenton has turned to a pair of point guards, Assistant Coach Sam Cassell and Gilbert Arenas, to help him take his game to the next level.

“Sam has really been working with me on my pull-up game. I’ve been working on my one-dribble pull up. He has me working on my shooting consistency and ball-handling drills. With Gil, it is a lot of competition. We play pick-up games a lot and there is a lot of trash talking back and forth. At the end of the day it is only going to make me better. He’s been pushing me a lot in those games and its really helping me out.”

Entering his third season, Crittenton has already had the opportunity to play under three NBA coaches. With the Wizards installing a new offense under what will be Crittenton’s fourth coach, Flip Saunders, Crittenton has already begun working with Cassell to prepare himself for Training Camp and next month’s Summer League.

“I had a chance to talk to Flip (Saunders) and he seems like a really good guy. In my workouts with Sam they’ve put in some of the plays and some of the things we will be doing in our offensive sets. We’ve been working on screen-and-rolls and different things of that nature.”

While Crittenton is getting used to hearing new voices in his ear, he will not have to adjust to playing with one of the new players the Wizards just received in a trade. As a rookie with Memphis, Crittenton had the opportunity to play with and see Mike Miller’s ability on a daily basis and he is looking forward to seeing what his old teammate can bring to the Wizards.

“Mike Miller is a great shooter. He is someone that can knock down spot up threes. He can create for himself as well as others. He can handle the ball, rebound and do basically everything you need on the court. So I am really happy to have him on the team.”