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July 19, 2021

Jae Crowder

Phoenix Suns

Practice Day

Q. You're one of the guys on this team with a lot of playoff experience, and a lot of guys didn't have much before this year. What have you told them about in terms of dealing with the potential backs-to-the-wall, elimination-type game in terms of dealing with that?

JAE CROWDER: I think first you have to embrace it. You have to embrace where you are in the series and from there you have to focus and channel your emotions and energy towards the next game, and that's tomorrow night.

We just know it's going to be a dogfight. It's going to be -- you have to leave it all out on the court. You have to play with your back against the wall and play with a little desperation and play collectively. It's tough in a tough environment, you have to be together and get the job done. The message is stay together, fight each and every possession and embrace where you are right now.

Q. You know the pulse of this team probably better than anybody. What's the pulse right now, the sense of you guys right now?

JAE CROWDER: The pulse is just trying to figure it out, trying to get the job done. I think we've moved on from Game 5, a tough one obviously, but we've moved on. We've embraced where we are in the series.

We've embraced where we are here playing in Game 6 here on the road, and I think from there, we're going to do it collectively. We're very upbeat and still confident in ourselves to get this thing done and get this thing back to Phoenix, and that's where we at. That's what I can honestly say about our group.

The conversations we've had, the few conversations we've had leading up to right now, we know what we have to do. We know exactly the mental lapses that we've been having are self-inflicted. It's all in our hands we feel like, and I just feel like the confidence is where it needs to be leading up to Game 6.

Q. You've been a great road team all season long, that's no secret. So what things -- do you draw from any of those experiences?

JAE CROWDER: All of them. You draw from all of them. At this point of the year you take everything you've been through, all the ups and downs of the season and you just bottle it all up and you put it into play in a sense. This is basically our season on the line what we're talking about here.

You have to take all the experience that we've been through as a group, as a unit, and put it together, the good and the bad, just put it together and push forward and take -- like we just said, we've been the best road team all season, just take that and get back to the basics of how we have been able to have a positive outcome in a game on the road day-in and day-out. You have to take all that and bring it to Game 6.

Q. Going back to your previous playoff experiences, you faced two elimination games in the Finals last year. How different do those games feel in the locker room, during huddles on the floor, what is the difference in those desperation-type situations?

JAE CROWDER: The difference is basically, it's win-or-go-home. I think the words speaks for itself. As a player, it brings out a sense of desperation. It brings out a sense of urgency. It brings a sense of collectiveness within your group, knowing what you're battling and knowing what you're going up against. I just feel like you have to continue to fight each and every position. You have to take it a possession at a time. It's a dogfight.

I've been on both sides of it. I've tried to close out teams and I know how hard it is. It's just a sense of desperation on our end, a sense of just collectively get the job done by any means, have a positive mindset and just have a mindset of just get the job done by any means necessary, and that's each and every possession, just giving it your all, selling out each and every possession for your team and for your teammates.

That's the sense I've got just from being down and facing elimination, and like I said I've been on the other side of it, too, where it's been very hard to close out a team, especially in the playoffs.

Q. After seeing the film, what is your learning from the past game to improve tomorrow?

JAE CROWDER: I've just learned we've done a lot of things to hurt ourselves. Credit to Milwaukee. They have just done a great job of playing hard-nosed basketball. I think a lot of stuff we've done has been self-inflicted to the point where it's cost us a few.

I just feel like to give ourselves a chance, we have to eliminate those. We've been doing a good job of it all year, of just not beating ourselves in a sense, and I just feel like the film has shown that repeatedly. We've done a mediocre job of execution on both ends of the court, and it has landed us into a 3-2 series right now.

So like I said, we have confidence to where we are right now. We know what's at stake.

Q. You might have just covered it, but you're talking about your road success, and it's not just all season. You’ve have been successful in all three playoff series leading up to this one. What was missing these last two games in Milwaukee that you had working for you up till now in the playoffs on the road?

JAE CROWDER: Like I said, even on the road, it's not going to be pretty. You're not looking to play a perfect game. You're just looking to try to come out with a win. I think those two games we had on the road previously in the series, we gave ourselves a chance to win the game, no matter if we have some possessions that we gave away, no matter if we gave offensive rebounds here and there, we still gave ourselves a chance to win the game with under a minute to go in each game.

So, you take that and you just try to build from it and you try to capitalize on it next time it comes around, honestly. Obviously, we've done a lot of good but we've done a lot bad, too, and we have to clean that up. I feel like we know what we have to do. It's just a matter of us going out and do it.

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