The Milwaukee Bucks’ tough start to the season just got worse. The Bucks announced Monday evening that Jae Crowder’s groin injury he suffered in the team’s loss to the Magic on Saturday is a left adductor and abdominal tear. The team reported that Jae Crowder will miss eight weeks due to the injury and subsequent surgery.
This news comes on the heels of Damian Lillard missing back-to-back games against the Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic, both losses for the Bucks. The Milwaukee Bucks are 5-4 in the early goings with a new coaching staff and quite a bit of roster turnover.
Obviously, the Milwaukee Bucks are also dealing with Khris Middleton being on a minutes restriction after off-season surgery as well.
Now, without Jae Crowder, they lose their most versatile defender and one of their most reliable 3-point shooters.
What are the Milwaukee Bucks losing with Jae Crowder sidelined?
On the surface, losing a player scoring 8.1 points may not seem like a big deal. However, out of rotational players, Jae Crowder is the second leading 3-point shooter by percentage on the Milwaukee Bucks to only Cam Payne.
Jae Crowder is also the fifth leading rebounder (fourth in offensive rebounds) on the Milwaukee Bucks at just under four rebounds per game.
Defensively, the Milwaukee Bucks will also miss Crowder as he is one of few players on the roster capable of defending one through five. With the Bucks still figuring their defensive schemes out with the new coaching staff under Coach Griffin, having a player that can defend with versatility was absolutely needed, and now has been yanked away by an unfortunate injury.
Outside the stats and X’s and O’s, Jae Crowder is a veteran and, as such, has a lot of experience in the NBA that younger rotational players like MarJon Beauchamp and Andre Jackson Jr. could play alongside and have confidence that they have a guy with experience next to them.
What does the Jae Crowder injury mean for the rest of the Milwaukee Bucks?
Losing Jae Crowder isn’t a good thing. However, the injury to Crowder does present some opportunities for some young players, mainly the aforementioned MarJon Beauchamp and Andre Jackson Jr.
MarJon Beauchamp may not be able to defend one through five but he has more than held his own guarding one through three with intensity and good defensive footwork. MarJon put Milwaukee Bucks fans on notice of his defense way back in game one this season when guarding Tyrese Maxey.
Andre Jackson Jr. defensively has some learning to do when it comes to positioning, but there is absolutely no question that he absolutely works his tail off defensively. Andre Jackson Jr.’s effort is easily apparent as soon as he checks into games. At 105.5, Andre Jackson Jr. (AJax as he’s coming to be known) has one of the best defensive ratings on the Milwaukee Bucks. Jackson Jr. figures to be the player with the biggest bump in minutes with Crowder sidelined.
Adrian Griffin may have discovered something when using zone defense that having MarJon Beauchamp and Andre Jackson Jr. present some problems for opponents with their length, and Griffin may have to employ more zone defense without Crowder’s defense in the lineup.
What the Milwaukee Bucks should not do in response to the Jae Crowder news:
The injury to Jae Crowder is unfortunate. However, the Milwaukee Bucks should not abandon the minutes restriction on Khris Middleton in response to it. Jae Crowder will be out for eight weeks, which takes the NBA season to the middle of January, not even to the trade deadline or All-Star break. With the big picture in mind, the Milwaukee Bucks should use their young Bucks (pun intended) to eat more minutes and ride out the eight weeks until Crowder is back.
Stay tuned for more Milwaukee Bucks news.