Following an uneventful close to the 2022-23 NBA season, Jae Crowder entered the new season motivated to show that he still had plenty in the tank after re-signing with the Milwaukee Bucks.
Crowder wasn't all talk, as he started the season red-hot. In nine games, he was one of the team's most reliable players, serving as an excellent 3-and-D wing. He averaged 8.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 1.7 assists while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor and 51.6 percent from 3-point territory, also averaging the most minutes among any reserve.
It was clear that Crowder was set to be a key cog in Adrian Griffin's rotation, but disaster struck just nine games into his season. In a recent loss to the Orlando Magic, Crowder suffered an injury to his left adductor, which required him to go under the knife. Following the surgery, he was expected to miss eight weeks of action.
The Bucks have been without Crowder since Nov. 11, and his presence has been missed dearly. However, a new video from Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows that Crowder is back on the court following the surgery and doing some individual work.
Since his injury, the Milwaukee Bucks have missed Jae Crowder dearly
Even with Crowder, the Bucks were struggling to find an identity defensively. Yet, he was one of the bright spots, giving Coach Griffin a versatile, switchable, experienced, and tough veteran who could help steady the ship at times. He was the big wing defender this team desperately needed, and his absence has hurt the Milwaukee Bucks in the weeks since.
Crowder was also a big communicator on the defensive end, which is something this team has been missing in his absence. In the early going, there has been plenty of miscommunication between the Bucks players, whether it's not switching on a screen, overhelping, or whatever else. Having that type of verbal presence out there was helpful as the team aimed to find an identity defensively.
Thankfully, this new video is a sign that he is trending in the right direction. He won't be back for at least a few weeks, but it's still great to see him on the floor again in some capacity. He was and can still be a vital piece for this team as they attempt another run at the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
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