When the Portland Trail Blazers traded Allen Crabbe to the Brooklyn Nets in July of 2017, Blazers fans knew they’d be losing a young three-point shooter with defensive potential, gaining nothing but relief from his burgeoning, $19 million contract. They also knew they would no longer be subject to Crabbe’s chronic bouts of inconsistency, scoring 30 and then disappearing for the next four games. Gambling on potential and the occasional big payout would now be the problem of the Nets.
Judging by an article posted today at Blazer’s Edge sister site Nets Daily, Brooklyn is getting used to the idea. Crabbe has averaged just 39.7% from the field this season, 36.3% from the arc, both numbers down drastically from his 2016-17 rates of 46.8% and 44.4%, respectively. But Crabbe has topped 20 points 9 times in 55 games, a feat he only accomplished 6 times all last season, and his per-minute scoring numbers are up. Plus he’s had a run of four games in which he’s scored 34, 28, 15, and 24. This is enough to convince Nets supporters that their patience with his up-and-down production is paying off.
Author Bryan Fonseca quotes Crabbe directly as he discusses managing the transition and new expectations:
“Honestly, the opportunity was given to me in the beginning, it just hasn’t been in my nature,” he said candidly on Wednesday afternoon after team shootaround. “You can’t go from one system being a role player to a guy where they’re seeing ‘we’re just giving you the green light.’ I’ve been acclimated to playing a certain way for four years.
“For me, it’s just I’m not able to turn the switch off and turn another one on and just go out there and be overly aggressive. I feel like with certain people it just takes time. It took time with me, hopefully I can just continue to play like this.”
Crabbe also offers a refrain about confidence familiar to Portland fans:
“I’m just glad that it’s finally clicking for me. Like I said, they’ve always got the confidence in me whether it’s six points here, four points there, 2-for-10 here, they tell me to keep shooting, and I think that’s what’s been allowing me to fight through those slumps. They’ve still had the confidence in me that they’ve had since day one. I think everything is rolling for me now.”
Fonseca has much more from, and about, Crabbe in the article. Meanwhile, how much do you miss him in Portland’s lineup? Were his shooting skills and promise worth the inconsistency? Do you think he has turned the corner or do you suspect it all leads back to the same intersection? Weigh in below.