Jae Crowder Speaks; CP3 Available For Suns

(AP Photo/Matt York)

The Suns have a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Clippers. And they may be getting reinforcements since Chris Paul is now listed as available after being in health and safety protocols.

Suns forward Jae Crowder says CP3 practiced with the team this morning and morale is higher due to his return tonight. While it’s still uncertain how much he plays, his leadership is a welcome return.

“He’s one of our main leaders on this team, he’s a guy who he has a voice in our locker room,” Crowder said “When you give us that back, it gives us a sense of joy and togetherness… for the morale of our team it definitely enhances it a lot.”

After taking care of business at home, Phoenix is hungry to extend the win streak to double digits in Los Angeles.

“Our confidence is there, even before winning nine straight games,” Crowder said. “We play for each other, we have confidence in all of us. The confidence has been there all season and now in the playoffs.”

As the team prepares for tonight, Crowder was able to reflect briefly on his game winning lob pass to Deandre Ayton in Game 2. The moment was so quick for him, but he never doubted he’d be able to execute in that spot.

“You’re not focusing on what can go wrong, you’re focusing on how to make the pass right,” Crowder said. 

Recent past highlights present

The trip to L.A in round one was a game changer. After losing Game 3 and trailing 2-1 in the series against the Lakers, the Suns used an extra off-day before Game 4 to talk things out and overcome adversity. They’re 9-0 since.

“We were facing a lot of adversity during that time,” Crowder said about the days off between games three and four in the first round. “We had to come in and work it out. We were in the gym just talking it out. Our head space was in the right area when facing adversity. We knew that not everything was going to go right in the playoffs and that was our first taste of adversity.”

Last year another youthful team, the Miami Heat, made a run in the postseason that many on the outside didn’t expect. Crowder has been feeling similar vibes from this squad all year. The 9-0 run shows it, but there’s more to it.

“The confidence in the young guys has just grown,” Crowder said. “Last year with my Miami team it was a few young guys playing high level minutes and confidence grew… I think I’m seeing the same thing with the younger players on this team. You saw what Cam Payne did last game with his performance and Cam Johnson has been playing great.”

Game 3 is tonight at 6:00 p.m. PST on ESPN.

Jordan Spurgeon is a journalist who is graduating from ASU at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in December 2021. He's previously worked for 97.3 The Fan in San Diego. At Sports360AZ, Jordan enjoys covering multiple sports and telling feature stories that impact people.