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Don't Let Age Fool You, Crawford Is Hitting Stride With Wolves

by Kyle Ratke, Digital Content Manager

Digital Content Manager

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Before we get into the success that has been Jamal Crawford mid-December, a simple reminder that Crawford is 37 years old.

Those in Crawford’s draft class include: Kenyon Martin, Mike Miller, Joel Pryzbilla, Quentin Richardson and Mark Madsen.

Those players are no longer playing.

Crawford is.

It may have taken a little while, but Crawford is hitting his stride with the Wolves. Since Dec. 18, Crawford is averaging 16 points and three assists per game off the bench while shooting 100 percent from the free-throw line. In completely related news, the Wolves are 5-1 over that stretch.

On the season, Crawford is averaging 10 points per game. With his hot streak as of late and the recent injury to Jeff Teague (a knee injury has Teague out indefinitely), we’re likely to see that number go up.

When it comes to professional scorers, Crawford has to be a board member. When it comes to shooting, Crawford could miss 30 shots in a row and have the confidence at shot No. 31 like he was shooting 100 percent. The worst kind of shooter is a hesitant one. That's something Crawford is not.

In a 128-125 overtime win against the Denver Nuggets at Target Center on Wednesday, Jimmy Butler got plenty of attention for his 12 overtime points, and rightfully so. But this bucket from Crawford with 47 seconds left in overtime gave the Wolves a 127-125 lead, which ultimately was the game-winning bucket for Minnesota.

“Jamal does a great job of relocating and getting into the vision and then he read the closeout perfectly,” Crawford’s coach Tom Thibodeau said. “Those shots he’s made throughout his career. It was a big-time play for us."

The three-time Sixth Man of the Year is 33rd in all-time games (1,218), 52nd in minutes played (3,190), sixth in career 3-pointers made (2,093) and 10th in career free-throw percentage (86.3 percent).

Crawford and the Wolves have their next game on New Year’s Eve against the Pacers. In 45 career games against the Pacers, Crawford is averaging 16.8 points per game, tied for the second-highest average against a team in Crawford’s career. This season, Crawford already had an 18-point and nine assist game with four made 3-pointers against the Pacers.