Jae Crowder: a name still sour coming off the tip of the tongue for Miami Heat fans. The gritty 3-and-D forward is in the NBA Finals for the second consecutive year, but this time with the Phoenix Suns. What is it about Jae Crowder that’s so enticing to teammates, coaches, and fans?
The answer is simple: energy.
2021 NBA Playoffs
Although Crowder doesn’t typically produce eye-popping numbers, he is a major key to the Phoenix Suns’ success this postseason. Averaging 10.6 PPG shooting 41% from the field and 38.8% from deep (his second best playoff 3-point percentage since his first playoffs), along with 5.8 RPG, Crowder remains consistent in doing the things that he does best and brings more to the table than his stats give him credit for.
First Round – Phoenix Suns Beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2
- Game 4 – Jae Crowder lights up the Lakers for 17 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block while shooting 50% from the field
- Game 6 – Crowder explodes from 18 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal while hitting 6 threes, shooting 66.7% from downtown
As mentioned earlier, Crowder’s strength doesn’t always come in the stat category. It comes with his energy and the heart he plays with. He’s the rare type of player that is willing to do the dirty work and spark runs when the offense just can’t seem to find its footing.
Second Round – Phoenix Suns Beat the Denver Nuggets 4-0
- Game 3 – Jae Crowder finishes the game with 14 points on 4/6 shooting from deep and 5/9 from the field.
- Game 4 – Crowder shows why his defense is such a great asset to any team by racking up a game high 4 blocks to close out the Nuggets. Crowder also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Maybe Crowder’s most notable trait, his defense is where his talent truly lies, as seen in game 4 of the Western Conference Semi-Finals against the Denver Nuggets. Did the Heat miss this in 2021? Absolutely.
Western Conference Finals – Phoenix Suns Beat the Los Angeles Clippers 4-2
- Game 6 – Jae Crowder comes through in a closeout game once again for the Suns, putting together 19 points on 55.6% shooting from deep.
This series turned out to be not a great shooting series for Crowder, shooting just 37.8% from the field and 34.3% from deep. What you did see from Crowder was the spark that ignited the team during slow streaks; whether that be from a strong defensive possession, or a couple quick threes, Crowder had exactly what his team needed.
Jae Crowder Overview
Crowder will be a player missed by the Miami Heat and fans for years to come. There was an obvious missing link for the Heat in 2021, and it’s clear why. Losing a player that can get in an opponent’s head and disrupt an offense like Crowder does, as well as hit the three ball consistently, will leave a deep wound for the coming years.
As the offseason is quickly approaching, the Heat hope to get back into Finals contention. Are they missing another star to play beside Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler? Or are they missing a grit-and-grind guy to match Crowder’s energy? Maybe that’s the Jae Crowder Effect.
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