Phoenix Suns Player Grades Through First Quarter of 2021-22 Season

Phoenix Suns (Photo by Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
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Phoenix Suns, Jae Crowder
Phoenix Suns, Jae Crowder. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Grading Phoenix Suns Starters: Jae Crowder

Current stats: 9.3 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.3 SPG

The ultimate glue piece, Jae Crowder continues to bring the intangibles needed to supplement Phoenix’s starting five and work as a tough player in general.

Defensively, he digs in each night as a strong presence along the wing. Phoenix’s versatile and connected identity at that end starts with him. Crowder’s viability also adds to the overall trust and continuity the team moves with, providing help coverages and diving into passing lanes. He comes up with timely blocks and steals alike.

Ayton’s growth and expansion as an anchor both offensively and defensively also allows Crowder to take more risks and work aggressively off the ball. With that, Crowder finds himself averaging his highest steal total since the 2015-16 season.

His high IQ operating from the weak side makes him a threat to close out and against players trying to sneak in shots, and his communication goes unrivalled especially when working as a top wing guy when the Suns switch on cross actions.

Crowder has operated steadily on the side of the ball he was brought in to impact the most. While he lacks this much excitement at the offensive end, he remains quite serviceable.

Grade: B-