The Milwaukee Bucks will be without veteran forward Jae Crowder for at least eight weeks as he undergoes recovery from an abductor injury sustained in a game against the Orlando Magic. Initially thought to be a groin injury, an MRI revealed a left abductor and abdominal tear, requiring immediate surgery. Crowder, who underwent surgery this week, may not return to the court until mid-January, but the team has acknowledged the unpredictability of abdominal injuries.
With Crowder averaging 8.1 points and 3.9 rebounds per game, his absence will undoubtedly impact the team, as he served as a key figure in the second unit for the Bucks. Head coach Adrian Griffin expressed his disappointment, recognizing the significant loss to the team. In Crowder’s absence, the team will turn to backup forwards MarJon Beauchamp and rookie swingman Andre Jackson Jr. to fill the void.
The Bucks, currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, are navigating challenges as they adjust to the acquisition of Damian Lillard in a major trade. The team’s chemistry is still developing as they aim to compete in the Central Division. Despite their setbacks, the Bucks are favored to win the division, seeking their sixth consecutive crown. However, the Indiana Pacers, who lead the division with a 7-4 record, are proving to be a competitive threat.
In betting markets, the Bucks are considered a risky bet, with a 1-8-1 record against the point spread. Despite this, they are third on DraftKings’ NBA futures board with +450 odds to win the championship. The Boston Celtics and the defending champion Denver Nuggets are seen as the top contenders for the title. In the Eastern Conference, the Celtics are the favored team, closely followed by the Bucks and the Philadelphia 76ers, who have made a strong start to the season.
Overall, the Bucks are facing adversity with their latest setback, but they remain determined to overcome challenges and compete at a high level.