If last night’s game against the Oklahoma City Thunder did not prove that Jae Crowder will be the man that makes a difference for the Dallas Mavericks, then I do not know what will. Last night, the Mavs were in Oklahoma City in their final pre-season road game and they were without Shawn Marion, Vince Carter, Chris Kaman and Dirk Nowitzki.
The starting lineup last night for the Mavericks was O.J. Mayo, Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones, Elton Brand and Crowder. Does that sound like an All-Star group? No! The Thunder, on the other hand had their full line up with Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolsha, Russell Westbrook, Kendrick Perkins and Kevin Durant.
The Thunder had three people score in double figures with Ibaka getting 15, James Harden 16 and Durant 18 points. The Mavs, on the other hand, only had two players score in double figures. Actually I would not consider Brandan Wright and his 11 points to be any difference maker in the game. It was Crowder who led the game with the most points with 21 to go along with 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.
The game last night got really ugly for the Mavericks. By halftime they were down 53-40, but Crowder kept them in the game with his solid performance. However, The Mavs did come up short losing 88-76. To go against the Western Conference Champions and stay in the game without their man guys that is very impressive. Crowder is improving fast and it’s going to be a great site to see for the Mavs Nation as this young man grows into a potential all-star.
He is a rookie, however, so he is not going to carry a team right away, but I believe as the season progresses he will be a solid 6th man for them and possibly something more in the future for this franchise.
Plus, with Nowitzki out for November this will give a chance for Crowder to pick up experience since coach Rick Carlisle will most likely use him as a starter at some point during the month of November. If Crowder can perform like he has during this pre-season to go along with the other veterans on this team then Crowder will become an instant fan favorite as Josh Howard was when he was drafted late in the 2003 NBA Draft.
If you are a Mavs fan or a typical basketball fan then keep an eye on Crowder because he will become the difference maker for this franchise. He may be a 2nd round pick, but he may be the biggest steal of this new decade and if they play the cards right then he will become the next superstar of the Dallas Mavericks.