DALLAS -- Jae Crowder could have taken the news that he was not starting as reason to doubt himself or get disappointed. But if he felt that way, it didn't show in the Mavericks' victory over the Wizards on Wednesday night.
Crowder appeared to look at his spot on the bench as a challenge, putting up 12 points and three assists in 21 minutes. Both the points and assists were season-highs for him. When Crowder was on the floor, the Mavericks outscored Washington by 13 points.
"Jae stepped up big-time last night," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle said. "He had two or three games that were just subpar based on what he had been doing. This is what you like to see. You like to see a young guy when he gets demoted to really step it up and re-establish himself."
Carlisle was impressed. Whether it means Crowder gets more chances to start remains to be seen. But it certainly won't hurt his ability to earn more minutes. And it's another sign that Crowder has plenty of maturity for a rookie.
In nine games (he's started four), Crowder is averaging 7.7 points, 1.2 assists and 2.2 rebounds. He's also contributing with his energy and defensive play.