Not only are the Milwaukee Bucks on a roll, having won three straight and solidifying their position as the second seed in the Eastern Conference, but they also just got excellent news on a key player. Jae Crowder, who missed the last two months with an injury, is set to make his return Wednesday against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Crowder's return to the lineup will provide much-needed wing depth to Milwaukee. Even though the 33-year-old is past his prime, he is still a valuable two-way combo forward who can defend multiple positions and stretch things out on the perimeter.
Ever since he joined the Bucks last season, Crowder has been shooting the lights out, hitting 46.5% from three in 27 games. His ability to defend the other team's best offensive player while spacing the floor on the other end makes Crowder an excellent fit next to Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Crowder can play any position on the perimeter, giving Milwaukee flexibility in their lineups. There is a chance he can slide into the starting lineup in Malik Beasley's place, but he will likely come off the bench for the time being. However, before he was sidelined, he was seing over 26 minutes per game, so we can expect him to play extensively and in closing lineups even if he doesn't start.
Crowder could play an integral for the Bucks because Milwaukee is a top-heavy team. Outside of their core four of Lillard, Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, and Brook Lopez, their depth is questionable. They rely heavily on young, inexperienced players like Andre Jackson Jr, and Marjon Beauchamp. Crowder, on the other hand, has played over 100 playoff games and made the Finals twice. His big-game experience and veteran leadership could come in handy as the Bucks prepare for a deep postseason run.
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