Well, with Khris Middleton and Grayson Allen both sidelined against the Washington Wizards, the veteran forward got the nod from Coach Mike Budenholzer. It was his first start of the season, and the veteran took advantage of the opportunity with his best showing in a Bucks uniform yet.
Jae Crowder shines in his first start as Bucks take down the Wizards
Crowder had a solid first half by tallying six points, four rebounds, and a steal while hitting two of his four shots, including his only 3-point try.
After a sloppy start to the third quarter by the Bucks, Crowder turned up his intensity and went to work in the period. In six and a half minutes, Crowder notched 13 points, including Milwaukee’s first 10 of the quarter, on 5-of-7 shooting, including a near-perfect 3-of-4 from deep. The veteran finished the matchup with a near-double double by tallying 19 points and nine rebounds.
Though Crowder scored and rebound extremely well, he also played some stellar defense during this one. Per NBA.com, Crowder held his opponents to 4-of-12 shooting (33.3 percent) across 52 partial possessions. The Bucks brought Crowder in for that type of defensive impact, and it was a great sign to see him put it on full display against the Wizards.
With Grayson Allen expected to miss time due to his ankle sprain, it would not be too surprising if Crowder retained his starting spot moving forward and continued to play a big role. As a 3-and-D wing, he’s a seamless fit in the lineup alongside Milwaukee’s typical four starters, and he could undoubtedly help form a strong lineup defensively with them. Hopefully this showing against the Wizards is only a sign of things to come for Crowder as he continues getting up to speed following a recent calf injury.
The Bucks will have a quick turnaround as they take on the Chicago Bulls in Milwaukee tonight as the regular season has just three games left on the schedule.
Be sure to catch the nationally televised action at 6:30 p.m. CST on ESPN.