The Phoenix Suns took an incremental lead Wednesday night when Aaron Gordon of the Denver Nuggets attempted to move toward the three-point line with an offensive possession. I have definitely tried. The problem was Jay Crowder He had blocked Gordon’s way with his 6-foot-6, 235-pound tire. There was a stampede and an argument, then a flurry of whistles and a light struggle in danger of turning into a full-blown brawl.
It wasn’t surprising, of course, that Crowder, the attacker who plays the Suns’ resident enforcer, was right in the middle of it. Crowder and Gordon technical errors were evaluated.
“Honestly, it comes to me, I don’t seek it,” Crowder said of his methodologies. “Other teams are trying to be physical with me, trying to piss me off. I don’t know if they know that, but I like that style of play. I like to talk trash. I like it all because it definitely makes me go, and I think my team definitely feeds on it a little energy from it.”
The Suns are scaring the Nuggets – and Nikola Jokic, the NBA Newly minted most valuable player – In their Western Semifinals series, they racked up a lopsided pair of victories ahead of Game Three on Friday in Denver.
And while the Suns are powered by their backyard tandem Devin Booker And the Chris PaulCrowder added an extra layer of experience and interval experience. Most of the time, he does his job in the quiet corners of the game: defending, rebounding and checking. But when needed, he will appear to collide with a 3 pointer or face an opponent player. It was no coincidence that TNT hung a microphone on him for their broadcast of the Suns’ 123-98 win at Game 2 in Phoenix.
“Jay doesn’t get upset about anything,” Paul said.
In five consecutive Suns playoff wins, dating back to the middle of the first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Crowder averaged 13.8 points and 5 rebounds per game while shooting 50 percent from the field and 46.2 percent from 3 point range. . On Wednesday, he didn’t put up flashy numbers – he scored 11 points – but picked his spots. He scored the team’s first two field goals, then opened the second half with a three-pointer that seemed to suggest an explosion was about to brew.
“That’s how we try to play,” Crowder said. “We try to impose our will early on.”
The son of Cory Crowder, a former Utah Jazz and San Antonio Spurs player, Crowder, 30, grew up outside of Atlanta (where a high school prospect was a little recruited). He attended two junior colleges before landing at Marquette, where he was the Big East Player of the Year. His nomadic basketball career continued when the Cleveland Cavaliers traded him for the Dallas Mavericks shortly after they selected him as the 34th pick in the 2012 draft.
Crowder played for seven teams in nine seasons, although he may remain at Phoenix for a while. He signed a three-year deal worth nearly $29 million as a free agent in November after leaving Miami, and his value is clear: He does a little bit of everything, including defending multiple sites and extending the floor as a 3-point threat. And for a young team with big goals, it provides a level of fitness that only comes with experience.
Consider the series The Suns with the Lakers, which included something Telenovela starring Crowder and LeBron James. During the first three games of the series, Crowder struggled with his blues (which could happen), firing him 7 of 27 from the field, and James went straight to him in the closing stages of the Lakers’ Game 3 win as James’ teammates urged him to.
Other players may fold like origami. Instead, Crowder returned to Game 4 and scored 17 points – in front of a taunting crowd at Staples Center, no less – as were the Suns equal in the series.
In the Suns’ victory in Game Six, Crowder scored 18 points on 6 of 9 shots from the 3-point line (he did not attempt any shots into the arc). During a break in play with less than a minute left, Crowder salsa danced right in front of James – in a tribute of sorts. Dance performed by James in a commercial For Mountain Dew – and he was fired. Seldom boring, Crowder sprinted into the locker room as Usain Bolt.
After that, he Post two pictures of himself He does salsa on his Instagram account (hahahahahahahaha), along with the caption: “It’s no fun when the bunny gets the gun.” As if to make it absolutely clear that he made the post himself, he signed it, “Big 99” – a reference to his uniform number.
“I felt like we didn’t have a little respect in Game 3 or something, so I did what I had to do in the closing game,” Crowder said.
While he vowed to do salsa with the fans in Phoenix if the Suns win the championship, Crowder said he was trying to exercise more restraint with the opposing players at this point in the playoffs. He has already paid his share of fines.
“I have to be smart,” he said. “I can’t always bite off the bait and keep getting the money back in the league.”
Against the Nuggets, the Suns win with a balance. In both wins, all five starters scored in double digits. They pass the ball and work collectively, a high-speed machine with synchronous parts. Crowder is one of many, but it is important in its own way.
“It makes the job more difficult for our opponent when everyone is rolling,” Crowder said.