Phoenix Suns forward Jae Crowder has no issue coming at the King, especially after defeating the Lakers in six games.
Crowder’s veteran presence as a three-and-D stalwart proved extremely effective against LeBron the entire series. Sure, James wasn’t at full strength, but Crowder managed to slow down the King in transition and in key moments one-on-one.
James was visibly angered by Crowder on multiple occasions, especially when he thought a foul should’ve been called. As you can imagine, that was quite often.
Crowder trolled James after Game 6, including a salsa dance on the Lakers grave. On instagram, Crowder made reference to a James tweet just days prior.
NBA Playoffs: Phoenix Suns a tough out in second round
The Suns are favored in the second round against the Denver Nuggets, who despite a resilient defeat of the Blazers in six games, still lack backcourt depth without Jamal Murray due to injury.
Phoenix, meanwhile possesses one of the strongest backcourts in all of basketball in Chris Paul and Devin Booker. Book went off to the tune of 47 points in 49 minutes in Game 6 when his team needed him the most.
DeAndre Ayton will have a tough task in guarding Nikola Jokic, who is arguably the favorite to win NBA MVP this season. Ayton was a vital defensive force against Marc Gasol and Andre Drummond, but Jokic is a different animal altogether. His ability to step outside and create shots for others is unprecedented in today’s NBA, and impossible to prepare for from a defensive perspective.
The Suns should celebrate for a few days. They’ve earned it by defeating the defending champs. But they better be ready to turn the page.