Rookie Jae Crowder getting ready to replace Shawn Marion
DALLAS – With Shawn Marion out for at least the rest of the week, rookie second-round pick Jae Crowder wore the starters’ white during Tuesday’s practice.
|Mavericks guard Darren Collison chats about the acclamation process with his new teammates, the team's offensive identity, how much he's looking forward to playing with Dirk Nowitzki and much more.
And there’s little doubt that the rugged rookie, who has averaged 8.8 points and 2.8 rebounds in 19.3 minutes per game during Dallas’ 3-1 start, is ready for more responsibility. The 6-foot-6, 235-pound Crowder knows his role, which is headlined by replacing Marion as the Mavs’ top wing defender.
“I feel like I still have to play with a lot of heart, a lot of dedication, a lot of hard work, a lot of hustle on both ends of the court,” Crowder said. “And let the offense come to me. Don’t try to force anything and play off of those older guys.”
Crowder has been impressive since he reported to Dallas to begin practicing for summer league. By the end of the preseason, it was apparent that the rookie had earned a spot in the rotation, a rarity under Rick Carlisle.
Carlisle said he just wants Crowder to continue being active, playing smart and playing within himself. Crowder proved something to Carlisle again Monday night with his performance after the coach opted not to play the rookie in the first half.
“He didn’t play at all in the first half and was 100 percent ready to go when his name was called in the second half,” Carlisle said. “A lot of times, rookies in those situations, they’ll kind of shut down mentally if they miss a rotation for whatever reason. He was just as ready as he’s ever been.”
Crowder doesn’t have to worry about sitting through the first half for at least the rest of the week. Now the rookie needs to get ready to start.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.