New England has been outperforming the numbers for most of the season, and the past couple weeks they have regressed to the level their goal differential would suggest. There are some who thought that it was over when Shawn Evans was traded, but they might have found some perfect complementary pieces that will let Kevin Crowley use his skills and 6’4” frame to carry the Black Wolves to the playoffs. He certainly has the skill to do it. He is an above average shooter in every offensive category, whether it’s as a ball handler or spotting up:
But if defenses key on him, will anyone else be able to step up? New England made a couple of trades this year that might be able to answer the call.
This is a great cut by Powless, but the set up of the cut is even better. Cutting off ball is a skill that takes a certain amount of feel to execute well. There’s not necessarily a ton of planning ahead that goes into cutting, it is more spur-of-the-moment. Powless originally went into this 2-man game expecting to be a roller. When (LeBlanc) passed the ball back to Callum Crawford, Powless kept working on his pick in case LeBlanc got the ball back. Because he kept working, LeBlanc’s defender thought the ball might be coming back to, and jumped to deter the pass from happening. When the defender jumped and opened the passing lane, Powless had his defender on his back and took the opportunity to create offense.
As covered previously, Callum Crawford was a member of the “Wild Bunch” in Buffalo that is leading the NLL in Isolation shooting %. He has no problems creating his own shot, which will be a big help to Kevin Crowley. What is interesting is how he is doing as a pick and roll ball handler with a big guy like Kevin Crowley setting screens for him.
Callum Crawford is a great piece for the Black Wolves’ offense. He’s as good an ISO scorer as Kevin Crowley, which gives New England more options for ball handlers. He can also run a mean pick and roll. In this clip, he sets up Brodie Merrill for the roll back into the pick by going hard down the alley, purposefully keeping spaced from Crowley’s pick so that Merrill can run by it. Then, when Crawford rolls back, Merrill goes right into Crowley’s arms. And because Damon Edwards had to work back under to pick to switch, Crawford had all kinds of room to beat Nick Rose.
No one is saying it will be easy, but with some fresh new wolves in his pack, Crowley can shoulder the load and make some special things happen.