DENVER -- With Wayne Ellington unavailable for tonight's game for the Dallas Mavericks against the Denver Nuggets, Jae Crowder has a chance to make a case that he belongs back in the rotation.
Ellington will miss tonight's Mavs-Nuggets contest for personal reasons. His absence vaults Crowder back into the rotation at the backup small forward spot.
"It's an opportunity and I'm aware of it,'' Crowder said as he prepares for tonight's 7 o'clock game at the Pepsi Center. "It's a big game for us and I've just got to play my game and help my teammates as much as possible.''
Crowder had been playing so poorly that the Mavs sent him down to the D-League last week just so he could freshen up on his game and get some playing time. In his two games for the Texas Legends, Crowder registered a pair of triple-doubles while showing that he doesn't belong in the D-League.
With the Mavs unsure when Ellington will return, at least they know the monster games Crowder had in Frisco has boosted his confidence.
"The advantage he has is he's played a couple of D-League games and he's gotten big minutes in those,'' coach Rick Carlisle said. "So I think that helps with rhythm and those kinds of things.''
-- Dwain Price
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