Jae Crowder and the Milwaukee Bucks were absolutely stunned in their first-round series against the Miami Heat, becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose in the opening round of the postseason since 2012.
With the season over long before the Bucks expected, Crowder reflected on his purpose with the team, after only playing 18 seconds in Milwaukee’s Game 5 overtime loss to Miami.
“I’ve never been in a situation like that,” he admitted to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Eleven years. Check my résumé. I’ve been playing. I’ve always been playing. I’m very confused as to why I was brought here. I don’t know my purpose here and why I was brought here.”
Strong words from Crowder, but they make sense after he averaged 13.6 minutes over the first three games of the series and barely played at all in an elimination Game 5.
“Yeah, I wasn’t expecting that, DNPs,” Crowder told the Journal Sentinel. “I haven’t had them in my career so why start now?”
Crowder was traded from the Suns to the Bucks on Feb. 10, costing Milwaukee general manager Jon Horst five second-round draft picks.
“I think his versatility defensively, when you think about the playoffs and having to guard the wings in this league, there’s just so many great wings and he’s another guy that we feel like we can throw at them and make things difficult,” Bucks head coach Mike Budenholzer said in February.
“There’s so many little things he does offensively that makes teams better and function at a high level. So, we really think he’s a playoff guy.”
After that comment, it’s surprising that Crowder didn’t play more, especially in a do-or-die Game 5. Still, the 33-year-old said he really enjoyed the final months of the regular season and would be interested in remaining with the team.
“I would, because in the locker room it’s a great group of guys who puts work first and we have fun after that,” Jae Crowder asserted. “I can work in that type of environment and I really do appreciate my teammates for welcoming me. From day one it’s just been love from that side.”
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