The Contra Costa Times (Marcus Thompson II) reports: Jamal Crawford, at 28 is entering the prime of his NBA career, and under Keith Smart’s tutelage, is learning things he’s never learned before. The dividends are already evident in his game. The results are most noticeable on defense, where Crawford has a reputation for being sub-par. He said he’s trying harder on that end of the floor, and for longer stretches, something he acknowledged he hadn’t always done. In times past, you wouldn’t have seen Crawford provide such solid help defense as he did Wednesday when he blocked a pull-up jumper by Sacramento’s Kevin Martin from behind. You wouldn’t have seen him hustle to contest a buzzer-beating attempt, as he did against Atlanta on Friday, blocking Zaza Pachulia’s heave into the stands near half-court. You wouldn’t have seen him getting excited and showing emotion when he makes a play on the defensive end, as he has lately.