3 Milwaukee Bucks players with the most to gain down the stretch

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3. Jae Crowder

This is an interesting choice as it could be either most to lose or most to gain with Crowder. He has recently been part of the starting lineup with Middleton out, and down the stretch, he has had an opportunity to claim his spot in the Milwaukee Bucks starting five. There is a potential argument for Middleton to come off the bench once he returns as he looks to get back into the swing of things, as well as offering the Bucks a different dynamic with their early substitutions.

The last two games have seen Crowder play less than 20 minutes, having done that just once in the previous 13 games. He's averaging 24 minutes this season. This could come down to in-game situations, but it shouldn't really be of any concern to Crowder. With him being one of the better defenders on the roster and some star wings taking on the Bucks in the coming weeks, this is his chance to really stamp down on why he should stay in the starting lineup.

Since the All-Star break, he has been shooting just 23.5 percent from three, which needs to improve drastically, but we know he is a 35 percent shooter this season and over his career, so that should jump back up. However, if it doesn't, then he may see his minutes decrease with Portis now stepping up and Middleton returning. This is what I mean by it could be seen as most to lose or most to gain.

The final point on Crowder is that he is a free agent this offseason, so he needs to show why he deserves to have his stay in Milwaukee. I think for his own reputation among Bucks fans, this run will have a big say on how he is perceived as a Bucks player. He was exactly what the team needed last season but was perhaps underutilized, and it seemed as though he would move on.

Down the stretch, there is a lot to play for, not only in terms of where the Bucks sit in the standings but also within the roster and how Rivers tackles the postseason. Many more players have a lot to gain and could find their roles increased or their way into the rotation in the final months of the regular season.

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