Milwaukee Bucks Lose Forward Jae Crowder for Two Months

Posted on: November 15, 2023, 12:19h. 

Last updated on: November 15, 2023, 07:49h.

The Milwaukee Bucks will miss veteran forward Jae Crowder for at least eight weeks while he recovers from an abductor injury.

Bucks Jae Crowder
Milwaukee Bucks forward Jae Crowder chases down a loose ball against the Indiana Pacers. (Image: Getty)

Crowder sustained a core injury against the Orlando Magic last weekend. At the time, the Bucks said Crowder had a groin injury. An MRI revealed something more serious with a left abductor and abdominal tear. Crowder consulted with a specialist, who confirmed that he needed immediate surgery.

Crowder, 33, underwent surgery on Tuesday. The Bucks indicated that he could return mid-January, but abdominal injuries are tricky.

Crowder averaged 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds, mostly off the bench as a defensive specialist and spot-up 3-point shooter. He shot 53% from the floor, including 52% from 3-point range for the Bucks this season.

Next Man Up: MarJon Beauchamp, Andre Jackson Jr.

Crowder started two games but was primarily the sixth man on the Bucks and the anchor of their second unit. Before his injury, Crowder logged the third-most minutes on the Bucks behind stars Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard.

The Bucks already had a thin bench after they acquired Lillard in a three-team trade with the Portland Trail Blazers that also involved the Phoenix Suns. Losing Crowder for two months is a huge blow.

Sports can be brutal at times,” said Bucks head coach Adrian Griffin. “Jae came into training camp in phenomenal shape. Mind, body and spirit. He’s a tremendous piece of what we’re trying to do moving forward.”

Griffin will lean on backup forwards MarJon Beauchamp and rookie swingman Andre Jackson Jr. to fill in for Crowder.

It hurts, man,” Beauchamp said in an interview with The Athletic. “Jae was playing so well for us. I know he wanted this bad. He’d been working hard. He looked like the Jae Crowder that we know.”

The Bucks selected Beauchamp with a first-round pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. He averages 7.1 points and 2.6 rebounds off the bench this season.

Jackson, a second-round pick from the 2023 NBA Draft, won a NCAA championship with UConn in March. He averages 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds per game and has logged 13.5 minutes per game since Crowder went down.

Betting the Banged-Up Bucks

The Bucks (6-4) are currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings. Their starting five are still trying to develop chemistry after the Bucks pulled off a blockbuster trade for Lillard.

Meanwhile, the high-octane Indiana Pacers occupy first place in the Central Division with a 7-4 record. The Pacers average a league-best 126.5 points per game, nearly 10 more per game than the Bucks.

The Bucks are still the consensus favorite to win the Central Division at -250 odds. They’re seeking a sixth-straight division crown. The Cleveland Cavaliers are +240 odds to win the division, which they haven’t done since 2018 when LeBron James bolted in free agency to the Los Angeles Lakers.

After their impressive start, the Pacers improved to +1300 odds to win the Central. The Chicago Bulls (4-7) are +5500 odds to win the Central Division, and the Detroit Pistons (2-10) are a long shot at +50000.

After their sluggish start, the Bucks are now third on DraftKings’ NBA futures board at +450 odds to win the championship. The new-look Boston Celtics are the consensus title favorite at +350 odds, followed by the defending champion Denver Nuggets at +400.

The Celtics (8-2) are the betting favorite to win the Eastern Conference at +155 odds, but the Bucks are a close second at +200. The Philadelphia 76ers are now +600 odds to win the conference. The 76ers are off to a torrid start at 8-2 after they traded unhappy shooting guard James Harden to the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Bucks are the worst betting team in the NBA this season. They have a 1-8-1 record against the point spread and have failed to live up to expectations after the Lillard trade.