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Jae Crowder set to return to Bucks Wednesday after missing two months

NBA: NOV 30 Bucks at Bulls
NBA: NOV 30 Bucks at Bulls

A Milwaukee Bucks team that has won three straight and sits second in the East — but still has plenty of doubters — is about to get a boost.

After missing two months following abdominal surgery, the Bucks are about to get Jae Crowder back in their rotation, reports Shams Charania of The Athletic.

This is big for the Bucks in a few ways. First, the doubts about Milwaukee as a genuine contender stem from questions about their 19th-ranked defense holding up in the postseason. Crowder helps on that end as a versatile forward with the size and strength to match up with opposing fours. Secondly, he helps with the depth concerns about the Bucks' rotation.

Finally, on offense Crowder was the Bucks most dangerous 3-point shooter to start the season, hitting 51.6% from deep on 3.4 attempts a night. More floor spacing makes Giannis Antetokounmpo's and Damian Lillard's drives that much harder to stop. Crowder averaged 8.1 points a game before his injury, with 3.9 rebounds and 1.7 assists.

Bucks coach Adrian Griffin likely will keep Malik Beasley in the starting five and bring Griffin off the bench, with Andre Jackson Jr. sliding back in the rotation. The Bucks starting five of Lillard, Antetokounmpo, Beasley, Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez has a +12.9 net rating, Griffin likely doesn't want to mess with that but can slot Crowder in for Beasley for defense in a closing lineup if needed.