Jae Crowder’s return from injury is a significant development for the Milwaukee Bucks. In particular, the veteran is expected to add some much-needed grit to Milwaukee’s defense — one that has been struggling to find its identity for pretty much the entire season.
Crowder finally returned to the lineup on Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers following a two-month-plus injury layoff. Unfortunately, his return did nothing to prevent an absolute blowout by the Cavs.
Jae Crowder Comments on Milwaukee Bucks’ Defensive Problems
All you’d have to do to make a proper assessment of Milwaukee’s defensive performance against the Cavs would be to look at the final scoreline. The Bucks proved no match to their Central Division rivals in this one as the game ended in favor of the Cavs, 135-95. As far as lopsided games go, this was undeniably terrible for Milwaukee.
Crowder spoke about his team’s poor transition defense against Cleveland. The 3-and-D specialist is well aware of the fact that his team just wasn’t good enough on the evening:
“I just think that’s on us,” Crowder said, via Eric Nehm of The Athletic. “We gotta continue to get better at that, get better at knowing when the shot goes up, we gotta have a few guys back.
“We try to do a lot of different things with offensive rebounding, but at times, I feel like we gotta balance the floor and I think we get caught up in like unbalanced situations as a team. The other teams capitalize on it. So I just think we gotta continue to watch it, get better at it and apply it.”
Crowder won’t be Milwaukee’s savior on the defensive end, but he is expected to make a significant impact once he’s back up to full speed. This might take a bit of time considering how long he’s been out, as well as the fact that he is now 33.
The good news is that Crowder looked great in his first game back, finishing with 15 points in just 19 minutes off the bench. This should be a good starting point for the veteran as he works his way back to full strength.
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