With the installment of a new coach and a new style, we can expect to see different players adapt and thrive in the fresh system. One such player might very well be the streaky and positionally bi-curious Jamal Crawford. Like Monta Ellis in Don Nelson's famously free-flowing offense, Alan Hahn expects that D'Antoni and Crawford may be a perfect match.
The up-tempo will only make Crawford a more dangerous player on the offensive end and also hide (or at least overshadow) his defensive issues. What we know is the guy can score in bunches and when he's on, he's impossible to defend.
Phoenix has certainly been a haven for shooters over the last few years, with guys like Barbosa, Bell, and James Jones becoming household names under D'Antoni's watch. Whether that can be attributed to the offensive scheme or to Steve Nash's timely passing remains to be seen. Curiously, Crawford was one of the few players to really blossom offensively under the treacherous reign of the coach before Isiah. While undoubtedly lethal from anywhere on the floor, Jamal is notoriously trigger-happy. You could say the same for Richardson and Robinson- other gunners expected to wreck shit in the new offense. I worry that, without a responsible adult like Nash to run it, the D'Antoni system might be more of an enabler than anything for shooting addicts like the three mentioned above.
There are, of course, many ways that this could go right. One of the point guards- Duhon, Robinson, even Marbury- could step up as a poor man's Nash. Or D'Antoni could adapt the offense to suit the personnel. Tommy Dee envisions a Detroit-style off-the-ball look for shooters like Crawford. Either way, if Crawford will ever make headlines and cash moneys like Monta Ellis, he's going to have to keep his head. The new style has the potential to unchain some All Star-caliber talent, but one must beware the danger of sheer mayhem.