The arrival of star guard Chris Paul last season immediately turned things around for the Phoenix Suns. After their stellar run in the NBA Bubble, the Suns needed one more piece to push them to the top. As we all saw, CP3 was that guy.

But aside from Paul, another integral addition for the Suns last season was forward Jae Crowder. The veteran enforcer instantly proved more toughness and grit for coach Monty Williams and his young wards.

In a recent interview on the Road Trippin podcast, the importance of Crowder to the Suns got even more highlighted. Forward Cam Johnson revealed that it was Crowder who gave the much-needed halftime speech in Game 4 of their first round matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Suns were down 2-1 in the series and Crowder’s pep talk ignited the team, according to Johnson.

“I remember Jae like saying, ‘Guys, I just came from a championship run and the biggest thing that is required is that kind of connectedness, that ability to withstand going down 2 to 1 in the series and being able to bounce back.’ And he looked at all of us and he was like, ‘I need to know when we’re on the court together, when I look around the court, I need to know you have my back because I got your back.'”

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Crowder’s impassioned speech clearly worked as the Suns eliminated the Lakers and made it all the way to the NBA Finals. The Suns, however, blew a 2-0 lead against the Milwaukee Bucks. But surely, the experience will only make them hungrier this upcoming season.