Mired in Rick Carlisle‘s doghouse for about a month, Jae Crowder of the Dallas Mavericks has made the most of the daylight he’s seen in the past week. The sad, lonely hours in that doghouse must have been rough for Crowder, but at some point, he must have regained belief in his skills.
On average of late, Crowder has played only about 15 minutes per game, but the sophomore has managed to contribute in several different statistical categories. From three-point distance, Crowder has shot 8-of-15 in the Mavericks’ past four games. Crowder also has averaged one steal and more than three rebounds in his past four games.
“When you put games together, it definitely helps your confidence. Not only with shot making, defending well . . . with more energy,” said Crowder at practice yesterday. So that beast-like spirit within Crowder seems to have been reborn. Crowder is back to that player who lights it up from deep and scrambles for loose balls with a seemingly unlimited amount of energy.
Crowder is an exciting and excitable player, and has put together similar spurts in the past, but the confidence he is playing with right now is pretty special to watch. It’s the sort of spark the Mavericks are going to need for the rest of this long home stand. Part of one of the best benches in the NBA, Crowder knows too the significance of bench contribution in taking a load off Dirk Nowitzki: “I think it helps him out more than anything,” said Crowder.
Crowder and the rest of his piney wood friends just might be the X factor in the Mavericks making the playoffs.