Crowder tearing up D-League, still trying to prove himself

Posted Sunday, Mar. 02, 2014  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Dallas Mavericks forward Jae Crowder posted a triple-double Thursday night for the Texas Legends in the D-League.

And just to prove again that he doesn’t belong in the lesser league, Crowder posted another triple-double on Saturday night for the Frisco-based Legends.

Crowder was joined on both nights in Frisco by point guard Shane Larkin, who contributed 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists Saturday against the Los Angeles D-Fenders. While being sent down to the D-League may be viewed as a demotion, the Mavs don’t see it that way.

“We know they know how to play,” owner Mark Cuban said. “That’s why we sent them to the D-League.

“Playing like that in that situation gives you a lot of confidence.”

Being demoted behind Wayne Ellington in recent games hasn’t been something Crowder has taken very well.

“I worked too hard in the off-season, I worked too hard during the season,” said Crowder, who contributed 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in Saturday’s 137-126 win. “I’m a basketball player and I love this game.

“You want to keep your spot in the rotation at all times. It’s definitely a wake-up call for me and I’ll just keep working.”

Because of the proximity of Frisco to Dallas, Crowder and Larkin were actually in uniform for five consecutive days.

They dressed for the Mavs’ home game Wednesday against New Orleans, played for the Legends on Thursday against the D-Fenders, dressed for the Mavs’ home game Friday against Chicago, played for the Legends on Saturday, and dressed for the Mavs’ road game Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs.

The Mavs have used the D-League to their advantage a lot more this season than in the past. And Cuban believes at some point all NBA teams will have the same luxury.

Cuban said: “I think every team will have [a D-League] team when it’s all said and done, because teams are realizing the value, and the value of having them close is even more valuable.”

However, Cuban hopes it’s “a long time before that happens.”

Ellington’s strides

Wayne Ellington has come up big since he was inserted into the rotation in favor of Jae Crowder some two weeks ago.

That includes scoring a season-high tying 12 points in Wednesday’s win over New Orleans.

“He’s been playing well,” forward Dirk Nowitzki said. “We love him out there.

“We feel comfortable with him and he deserves his chance.”

Ellington is just glad he’s been able to contribute during a time when the Mavs are in a heated battle to claim one of the Western Conference playoff spots.

“It’s a battle right now for playoff spots and winning is all that matters,” Ellington said. “I feel like everybody understands that and everybody is on the same page and it’s showing.”

Valuable veterans

How much does coach Rick Carlisle lean on veterans to get him where he wants to go?

“Veteran guys are the key to success in this league,” he said. “It’s harder to win consistently with a young team.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Kansas City 10/24 8:07 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Three. Series tied, 1-1.
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas 10/24 7:00 PM ET
New York 10/24 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: MSG, TSN2
Minnesota 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: CSN-CHI
San Antonio 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Miami 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Memphis TV: Sun Sports
Phoenix 10/24 9:00 PM ET
Sacramento 10/24 10:00 PM ET
LA Lakers TV: TWC SN, D
Denver 10/24 10:30 PM ET
Golden State TV: CSN-Bay
Portland 10/24 10:30 PM ET
LA Clippers TV: FSN-PT, NBA TV
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Friday, October 24Full Scoreboard
Dallas 10/24 7:00 PM ET
New Jersey TV: FSN-SW, MSG+
Tampa Bay 10/24 8:00 PM ET
Winnipeg TV: SUN, TSN3
Vancouver 10/24 9:00 PM ET
Colorado TV: TVA 2, SNE, SNO, SNP, Alt
Carolina 10/24 9:30 PM ET
Edmonton TV: SPSO, SN-W
Columbus 10/24 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim TV: FSN-OH, FSN-PT
Full Scoreboard