Should it be Crawford over Johnson in All-Star Game? (UPDATE II: Horford in)

Is Jamal Crawford a more deserving All-Star this season than Joe Johnson?

Is Jamal Crawford a more deserving All-Star than Joe Johnson?

(The Hawks have confirmed that Joe Johnson and Al Horford made the Eastern Conference All-Star team. See link below.)

Last week, former NBA and Michigan star Chris Webber – a relative newbie to broadcasting for TNT — said what I believe a lot of people were thinking: that Hawks guard Joe Johnson might be added to the Eastern Conference All-Star team but Jamal Crawford deserved it more.

In fact, I might even take that one step further. While Johnson is a three-time All-Star and again the team’s leading scorer — he had 31 points in a loss at San Antonio Wednesday night — a case could be made that he has been the Hawks’ third-best player this season, behind Crawford (the super sub)

Which Hawk is the most deserving All-Star?

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and Josh Smith (who has matured and is less prone to firing up jumpers from Macon).

The balance of the All-Star teams will be named tonight. Odds are, Johnson will be included and Crawford and Smith will be excluded. It’s a numbers thing, and maybe a perception thing. Hawks coach Mike Woodson had a point the other day when he told our hoops guy, Michael Cunningham, that the team deserved to have multiple players in the All-Star game. (He sent letters to Eastern Conference coaches pushing for Johnson, Crawford, Smith and Al Horford.) But here’s my question: If the Hawks only get one in, is Johnson really the most deserving?

I phoned Webber, now an Atlanta resident, to ask him this. He backed off his original comments slightly, but not completely.

“The more I thought about it, I’ve decided Joe is deserving to be in the game,” Webber said. “I just felt it would be good to have an infusion of some new guys who deserved to be in the game, like Jamal and Carl Landry of Houston. Even though I think Jamal should be an All-Star, I know it would be strange not having the leading scorer on the team there but have a guy who’s averaging four points less a game than the other guy is. I think there would be a lot of trepidation on the part of the voters to do something like that.”

Webber also has become a big fan of Smith, saying: “He’s toned his three-point shooting and he’s been a lot more disciplined. I’m glad he’s proving himself.”

I asked Webber if I was crazy for thinking Johnson might be the Hawks’ third-best player this season.

“If you’re talking about third-most impactful this year, I could understand somebody thinking that,” he said. “I definitely wouldn’t argue with that statement.”

Here are the numbers on Johnson, Crawford, Smith and Horford. I’ve also got a poll up. If you had one vote, whom would you say is the most deserving Hawk to be in the All-Star Game?

UPDATE II: The Hawks have confirmed that Joe Johnson and Al  Horford — not Crawford or Smith — will be announced as Eastern Conference All-Stars. Congratulations to Horford, who made it for the first time. Here’s a link to the early AJC story, which will be updated later:

Averages Rebounds
Player G GS MPG FG% 3p% FT% OFF DEF TOT APG SPG BPG TO PF PPG
Joe Johnson 44 44 37.5 .457 .349 .831 1.10 3.70 4.80 4.8 1.09 .05 2.05 2.00 21.3
J. Crawford 44 0 30.5 .459 .367 .849 .50 2.00 2.40 2.8 .77 .16 1.66 1.60 17.4
Josh Smith 44 44 33.4 .512 .000 .625 2.60 5.90 8.50 3.9 1.50 2.16 2.14 2.90 15.1
Al Horford 44 44 34.3 .575 1.000 .756 2.70 7.00 9.80 2.2 .70 1.30 1.45 2.90 13.6

88 comments Add your comment

FunkyBobbyJ

January 28th, 2010
12:59 pm

Horford is the one that deserves it. After Howard, who is a better center in the east this year?

ss

January 28th, 2010
1:01 pm

ssi

January 28th, 2010
1:03 pm

Dos? Tres? Quatro? Wooly Bully….

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 28th, 2010
1:06 pm

I think crawford is more important to how deep the Hawks can go this year , but what do I know I thought Randy Wittman was important in drawing pressure away from nique . But I do like to watch good basketball

#21=Top50,1stBallot

January 28th, 2010
1:08 pm

Let’s be honest, we’ve all just gotten used to Joe. He is clearly our best player and the reason we are where we are (not in isolation mind you, but since the others have stepped up). He’s basically 20,5,5. He is clearly our most best and most important player. If any of the other three lead the team in scoring- there’d be a problem. I just think this is a “slow news day” with regards to the lag time between the starters and reserves being announce. That said, Smoov should be an all-star as well, but to pick one- it’s Joe. Hands down.

FunkyBobbyJ

January 28th, 2010
1:10 pm

SGDF – your nuts, it took the whole team to try and get Wittman’s shot off. The slowest release in the history of the game.

Dan the Nerd

January 28th, 2010
1:10 pm

Amen. Last night was classic Joe – down by 28 and he puts up huge numbers. Cut it to a 9 point game and he tightens up and cant hit a layup. He is going to find out this offseason that he made a huge mistake not signing a long term contract last season.

Bigger question is who stole Bibby? He is turning into Randy Whitman… only with less offense.

Reid Adair

January 28th, 2010
1:23 pm

I would tend to agree with you, Jeff. When you look at it, Jamal Crawford is probably more deserving than Joe Johnson.

Daniel

January 28th, 2010
1:24 pm

#21 said it correctly. Joe is a 20/5/5 guy; the atlanta fans and media obviously underappreciate him as a player. Hey, I hope Jamaal, Al and Josh make the All Star game too, but get real Joe is our best player. Of course his “impact” feels less because he gave us about the same the last two years. Just because Steve Kerr was an upgrade over BJ Armstrong and had a big “impact” on the Bulls doesn’t mean he was better than Jordan!!!

Jeff, why not try a blog about why is Joe Johnson(and the Hawks) so underappreciated in their own city?

Actually...

January 28th, 2010
1:26 pm

..it’s “Uno, Dos, one, two, tres, Quatro – Wooly Bully!!!

Now you see em, now they burnt off!

January 28th, 2010
1:29 pm

You forgot to add the fourth person to the poll… Mr Potato Head’s eyebrows.

Lowcountry Bulldawg

January 28th, 2010
1:31 pm

Sign of the Apocalypse, Randy Wittman being discussed in 2010!

Bob Horner had sweet compact swing

January 28th, 2010
1:32 pm

Crawford does more per minutes played……he’s a spark plug…so was Adam Keefe…

jean

January 28th, 2010
1:35 pm

no u didnt just compare jamal to steve kerr or bj arstrong and joe to jordan

Seldin

January 28th, 2010
1:38 pm

You cant be serious Schultz, Joe Johnson is the reason we are successful every year! Who gets double teamed the most? Joe Johnson! I like Crawford and all, but if he were to get double teamed as much as Joe there is no way he would be avraging the numbers that Joe is producing.

SOUTH GA DAWG FAN

January 28th, 2010
1:51 pm

hey its a slow day at least i didnt say Kevin willis should have shot more threes or cliff levingston should have been a perrenial all star .

JEAN

January 28th, 2010
1:55 pm

U ACT LIKE CRAWFORD NEVER AVRGED 20 BEFORE DUMMY

Al Beeski

January 28th, 2010
1:56 pm

Our most deserving All-Star is JJ, but the maturation of J-Smoove is the reason we are 3rd in the East (and on pace for 50+ wins) as opposed to 4th – 8th. However, our playoff run depends on Jamal and his scoring punch off the bench. So yeah, we have become a little spoiled by Joe’s smooth, effortless game. He’s not a Sportscenter highlight reel ala Kobe, LeBron, or D-Wade, so therefore, he doesn’t get the love from the ATL like he should, but he is our best player and definitely an All-Star.

Gilley

January 28th, 2010
2:00 pm

Joe Johnson is the better all-around player for the Hawks but he is hot and cold. Jamal Crawford is a better scoring threat and doesn’t dribble too often and makes his move quick. Better clutch player. Josh Smith is an all-around player specifically on the defensive end but he lacks the offensive prowess of the players above and they lack the defensive ability of J-Smoove, although Johnson can be a great defender on any given night, the perimeter defense overall is mediocre at best.

Art Vandelay

January 28th, 2010
2:09 pm

Having Jamal on the bench is essentially like having Joe Johnson coming in to sub for Joe Johnson. The similarity in their numbers is incredible — if Jamal were playing the same number of minutes as Joe, their stats would be identical across the board. He’s as good or better than Joe is at creating his own shot, and he shows incredible agility and body control on his circus shots in the lane (and the jaw-dropping crossover that inevitably gets him in the lane to begin with). I also love that he’s embraced the city so quickly and seems really happy even though he hasn’t started a single game.

I’d love to see both of them make the All-Star Game, but if I could only vote for one it would still have to be Joe. He’s carried this team for years, and now that we’re an elite team in the East, he deserves to get the recognition for bringing us this far. Jamal will have to settle for Playoff MVP after the Hawks beat the Lakers in 6 games for the title.

Hawkdafied Chick

January 28th, 2010
2:10 pm

Hard to choose. But I’d give a vote to Al, Josh, and Joe.

Avery

January 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

Joe Johnson is the best player on the team. Even if Crawford can match him on the offensive side of the ball, Joe is the closest to a “complete player” that we have.

JSS

January 28th, 2010
2:13 pm

Truth-serum is going to have a field day with this one!

El Bravo

January 28th, 2010
2:17 pm

Joe Johnson is our best player and most deserving of being an All-Star followed by Josh Smoove. Crawford has been great for us but I think people are being influenced by that “new car smell”. Crawford is asked to be a spark plug from the bench and score with reckless abandon. He sees a lot of minutes against the other team’s bench. He hardly ever has to face double teams the way JJ does. Plus JJ is the better defensive player. Make no mistake, I wish there were room on the All Star team for all three but if only one has to go then JJ is the man…

AG

January 28th, 2010
2:20 pm

I watched bits and pieces of the game. When the Hawks needed him the most, he missed some very big shots. That is why the Hawks go several minutes without a bucket. He demands the ball, dribbles for .22 seconds and fires off a despiration shot! I would still vote him in first as the All-Star. If they actually ran more plays for Al, he could easily average 20 pts 10 rebounds

crackbaby

January 28th, 2010
2:23 pm

Jeff – No, no and NO!

JJ is the best player on the team AND IT’S NOT EVEN CLOSE. Jamal is the best sixth man in the league. Crawford may also be the smartest player on the team.

sleepy

January 28th, 2010
2:23 pm

Thats a tough choice but Joe is the teams best player while jamal has probably played the best this year …if that makes sense.

The one thing that stood out to me is that when you look at what jamal is doing in 30 mpg and compare it to other guards in the east its amazing simply because hes playing fewer minutes than the other guards but is having just as big of a impact .

crackbaby

January 28th, 2010
2:24 pm

AG – You are right. Hawks still do way to much Iso-Joe…

Steve Brown

January 28th, 2010
2:24 pm

Bingo, I was waiting for someone to write was has been in front of our eyes all season. Without question Crawford is outplaying Johnson in crunch time. Perhaps Johnson leaving won’t be so bad after all.

Steve Brown

January 28th, 2010
2:26 pm

Plus Joe Johnson is playing for himself and the big free agent contract more than for the team. I’m sure this has messed him up to some degree.

Steve Brown

January 28th, 2010
2:30 pm

Add 20% to Jamal’s scoring average (the amount that Johnson’s playing time exceeds Crawford’s) and the average is about the same. Who has made the bigger difference, the tougher shots-Jamal.

pmch02

January 28th, 2010
2:31 pm

An All-Star is someone who makes big play during big games. Therefore, hands down Crawford is the better selection over Joe Johnson. Joe Johnson is a chump killer and folds most of the time he plays the big boys, i.e. Lebron, D Wade, D Howard, etc. Crawford has heart and skills while Joe Johnson has skills with no passion.

Sid

January 28th, 2010
2:34 pm

El Bravo – Crawford gets the majority of his minutes in the second half and usually in the 4th quarter against the other teams best players. He sees double teams all the time he just doesnt hold the ball and force it . He makes a quick move and then either gets to his spot or passes it off .

Crawford isnt allowed to score with reckless abandon in fact he is the most stifled offensive player on the team as his touches are eerily controlled .

When he first comes into the game in the 2nd quarter hes not shooting and we dont run ant plays for him either. Crawford is usually not allowed to shoot and do his thing until JJ actually sits down and then he has 3-4 minutes to get aggressive.

The same thing applies in the 3rd quarter when Crawford comes in he cant do anything until JJ gets his short rest at the end of the 3rd and then when JJ comes in the 4th unless Woody calls for Jamal to get the ball and we run our pick and roll sets Crawford is relegated to sitting in the corner like Marvin and shooting threes . Even though the screen and roll with Jamal and Horford has been probably our best play in the 4th quarter this year.

jamal took 19 shots last game and that was the most he has taken this year he was 10-19 . If you look back over this year so far you will see that no matter how well Crawford plays his shots have been limited . He averages 13 shots per game and rarely has been allowed to surpass 15 shots even when he has been smoking hot.

Sporty Black

January 28th, 2010
2:42 pm

When something’s ‘new’ its exciting and we tend to not rationalize (Tiger). However, when reality sits in, you have to go with what got you there. The most complete player Hawks have per position is JJ (with double teams he is still 20-5-5 every night and he play defense), then JSmooth (much improved, not yet dependable), next Jamal (best 6th man in league) and finally Al (4 inches taller he would be best center in league).

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
2:44 pm

FunkyBobby — I really like Horford as a player but I’d like Hawks to use him as an offensive option more often.

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
2:44 pm

ssi — impressive transition, numbers to music.

chemdawg

January 28th, 2010
2:45 pm

Every statistical measure that is weighted to include defense, assists, etc. shows that Josh Smith is the better all-around player and the Hawks MVP this season.

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
2:46 pm

Now you see ‘em — I like when Mr. Potato Head puts in his angry eyes. Wasn’t that in “Toy Story”?

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
2:48 pm

Seldin — Actually the line is, “Surely, you can’t be serious.” And then I say, “Don’t call me Shirley…” And you say, “You’re an idiot too.” It’s the open commenting circle of life.

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
2:49 pm

Crackbaby — I’m really not big on your screen name. Any chance you can change it?

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
2:50 pm

Chemdawg — you make a valid argument for Josh.

tarheels3

January 28th, 2010
2:50 pm

I would take Crawford in the allstar game over Joe. Fundamenatly Joe Johnson is not sound. He makes bad decisions in critical times and has not improved his game over the years. Great players improve each year and also reconize what they need to improve on to make themselves better and the team. I canot think of anything Joe has done to make himself better over the years.

Hollywould

January 28th, 2010
2:50 pm

Jeff, I like Horford too but if you can only go to your right you cannot be an offensive force. As far as Crawford and Joe I will take Crawford. He hustles, at least tries to play d, does not take 15 seconds of dribbling to miss his 6 ft. runner, and at least acts like he is having fun. i am sick of Johnson’s pouty face.

Dekaturkingz

January 28th, 2010
3:11 pm

Yahoo Sports Say’s Joe & Al Made It. No Smoove

GraveDigger

January 28th, 2010
3:11 pm

That is a ridiculous question. Of course its Joe Johnson over Jamal Crawford. Joe Johnson is the fourth best player in the nba behind D-Wade, LaBron James and Kobe Bryant. Hands Down. There is no debate among people in the know who know the nba and know what joe johnsons skill sets are. Joe can literally take over a game when he is on. When Joe is on fire, trust me, he is unstoppable and he can get any shot off that he wants literally anywhere on the court. I know of only 3 players in the nba that have these comparable skills. LaBron, Kobe and D-Wade. Joe is in their class but he is underrated so noone knows who joe johnson is. Two years ago Joe single handedly almost brought the hawks to even against the celtics in their opening round series. Joe took over the fourth quarter of game six and scored about 25 points by himself in that fourth quarter to bring the series back to boston at 3-3. Before then noone knew who joe johnson was and to this day a lot of fans still dont know who he is. The hawks have four players on their squad this year who deserve an all-star appearance. Jamal Crawford, Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Josh Smith but since only one will make it, so its joe johnson hands down.

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
3:14 pm

Folks — For those who haven’t looked at the blog, it has been updated to reflect that Al Horford has made the All-Star team — not Jamal Crawford or Josh Smith — along with Joe Johnson. Congrats to Al, who is going to the game for the first time. This is Joe’s fourth.

Jeff Schultz

January 28th, 2010
3:16 pm

Dekaturkingz — Tweeted it a while ago but you beat me to it on the comments section. I think there’s a prize for that.

Patrick

January 28th, 2010
3:29 pm

Josh not being in the All-Star game is a joke. He has been, by some margin, the best player on the Hawks this year. On top of that, his highlight reel dunks seem well suited to the ASG. Congrats to Joe and Al, their inclusion is totally reasonable, but Josh has been the best player on the third-best team in the East, and leaving him off the team is a horrible mistake.

bali

January 28th, 2010
3:30 pm

congrats to joe and horford……… really wish josh smith could have made it also. Love the way smith played the other night in houston.. cannot wait till he is in his late 20 s and see the finished product…

DC

January 28th, 2010
3:35 pm

Huge Hawks fan. I like all of them. But I feel like JSmoove should have made the all-star team over Al Horford.

I bet you can ask any team in the league who they would rather not see play on the Hawks team on a night they have to play them and 90-95 percent will say Josh Smith. He is a game changer on offense and defense.