At the beginning of the 2018-19 regular season, the surging Portland Trail Blazers made regular appearances in ESPN columnist Zach Lowe’s weekly “10 Things I Like About the NBA” feature. Unsurprisingly, mentions have dimmed as their record has sunk southwards. But never fear, Blazers fans! This week Lowe name-checks a former Trail Blazers player, Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe.
Lowe begins by referencing the salary swapping between the Blazers and Nets over the last two seasons before diving into some burnt Crabbe.
Underrated recent NBA subplot: The Portland Trail Blazers bailing the Brooklyn Nets out of their mega-offer sheet for Crabbe, only to have the Nets return the favor a year later by trading for Crabbe at almost the first allowable moment. That is the only black mark on Sean Marks’ Brooklyn resume, but it’s a giant splotch.
Crabbe is a good catch-and-shoot guy; he’s up to 36 percent from deep after canning seven triples Wednesday in Brooklyn’s latest fall-from-ahead gut-punch loss (this one against Oklahoma City).
He just doesn’t do, like, anything else.
After the obligatory video illustration, Lowe doubles down, contradicting much of what was said about Crabbe during his Portland tenure in the process:
He’s also not a Kyle Korver/JJ Redick type, zig-zagging around, setting random screens, and dragging entire defenses with him.
This would be fine if Crabbe were an elite multi-positional defender. He’s not. Brooklyn could have found (at least) 80 percent of Crabbe’s production on a minimum contract, or something close.
Lowe’s column also covers the Milwaukee Bucks’ Achilles Heel, Bam Adbayo’s post play, Kyle Kuzma playing strong, and more.