Milwaukee Bucks forward Jae Crowder – out for last two months with core muscle surgery – has been cleared to return to the lineup Wednesday vs. the Cavaliers in Cleveland, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium. Crowder is among Bucks leaders in minutes per game, impacting both ends. pic.twitter.com/WZlvD7hGEg
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 16, 2024
The 33-year-old hasn’t played for the Bucks since he finished with one point and two rebounds across 17 minutes of playing time in a loss to the Orlando Magic back on Nov. 11. He left the game injured.
In nine games played with the Bucks so far during the 2023-24 regular season, his second season with the franchise, Crowder is averaging 8.1 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game while shooting 53.2 percent from the floor and 51.6 percent from behind the 3-point line.
It looks like Crowder will make his return to the floor at an opportune time, as the Bucks are riding a three-game winning streak and have picked up two of their most impressive wins of the season over the last week.
First, the Bucks demolished the Boston Celtics — who hold the best record in the league at 31-9 — at home on Jan. 11. Milwaukee beat Boston by a whopping 33 points, and Celtics star Jayson Tatum had arguably his worst game of the season, considering he finished with just seven points while shooting 2-of-6 from the field. He didn’t play in the second half.
Then, a few days later on Jan. 14, the Bucks earned an overtime victory over the Sacramento Kings at home. Bucks star point guard Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer in overtime as the buzzer sounded to secure the win for Milwaukee.
The Bucks haven’t lost a game since the team fell to the Utah Jazz — who are playing as well as any team in the NBA right now — at home by 16 points on Jan. 8.
The Cavaliers have been playing at a high level as well. Cleveland has won five games in a row and is fresh off an 18-point victory over the Chicago Bulls at home.
It will be interesting to see how much playing time Crowder sees against the Cavaliers after being sidelined for over two months.