The Milwaukee Bucks’ depth will be pushed to the limit after a recent key injury to Jae Crowder.
Considering the big move that the Milwaukee Bucks managed to pull off, a 6-4 start through the first 10 games of the season is considered to be an uneven start. Admittedly, the transition from Jrue Holiday to Damian Lillard as the team’s starting point guard hasn’t been as seamless as perhaps many thought it would. And the early-season growing pains have predictably been highlighted.
However, the Bucks are still in a fairly good spot if this is not close to their peak. If things can only get better for the Bucks, they should be happy with how they’ve navigated their early-season struggles. But perhaps their truest test will take place over the next few weeks with how they handle the loss of a key rotational player in the frontcourt.
The loss of Jae Crowder
After suffering an injury and undergoing surgery, Jae Crowder, the team’s second-best bench player, is set to miss about two months of the season. In nine games played this season, Crowder was averaging eight points and four rebounds per game on 53 percent shooting from the field and 52 percent shooting from 3-point range.
As one of the other consistent contributors in the frontcourt off the bench (aside from Bobby Portis), the Bucks are now faced with a tall task in handling their rotations in the frontcourt. The next few weeks will certainly test the Bucks’ already questionable depth.
In the first game with Crowder out of the lineup, the Bucks turned to sophomore MarJon Beauchamp as the only other “frontcourt” player off the bench in addition to Portis. However, I’m not sure how sustainable that may end up being for the Bucks.
I don’t know if the Bucks can continue to play that small over the course of two months. And that’s the case if they don’t suffer another injury. But if they do, it makes their situation even more complicated.
At some point, you’d have to expect the Bucks are going to make an attempt to bolster their supporting cast. At this point, it may be in the best interest of the team to try and find some frontcourt depth. The injury to Crowder could end up highlighting the true soft spot in the Bucks’ depth.
If the Bucks are going to hit their stride as a team over the next few weeks, they’re largely going to have to do so without one of their key bench players.