As a fan of a sport, it's sometimes difficult to qualify why we cheer for certain things. Every fandom has its origin story, and sometimes it's as simple as a geographical proximity. But sometimes we cheer for people or teams because there's something special about them that we can't quite put our finger on. Sometimes it's their skills, but sometimes it's simply their potential.
Right now, in Jae Crowder, we're getting a mix of skills and potential. He's a true rookie, seesawing from double-digit scoring games to absurdly bad showings on any given night. He's getting starter minutes one night and DNP-CDs the next.Patrick Sauer, a writer for The Classical, wrote a really excellent article on Crowder, trying to address why it is that we're so enthralled by the second-rounder. Below is a snippet, and I highly recommend reading the piece in its entirety.
...the Mavericks have been scuffling while waiting for Dirk to return, so Rick Carlisle started both Marion and Crowder against the Bulls. To no avail, as it turned out. The Mavericks lost by 23 and Crowder’s stat line was just as ugly as the final. Which, actually, is the thing about Swiss Army Knives: they do it all, but there’s rarely a call for going double-fisted. Crowder’s in a tough spot if he’s to become the Matrix 2.0, even if his jump shot is of the classic “hand in the cookie jar” variety and doesn’t resemble a Time Warner technician unspooling a length of cable. Anyway, if being Shawn Marion were easy, every funky-gamed oddball would do be able to it.