Like Brooklyn Nets, Allen Crabbe is searching for consistency

Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After being acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers, Allen Crabbe has seen his role increase with the Brooklyn Nets. His results, much like his team’s at the halfway point, have been mixed.

Allen Crabbe was in a real logjam in Portland with their star guards. When Nets general manager Sean Marks made the trade, Kenny Atkinson was going to make sure he was a key part of the rotation. The injury to D’Angelo Russell made Crabbe’s role even more important to the Brooklyn Nets.

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The fifth year wing has started 32 of of his 39 games this season. In his first four years, he never started more than 10. His averages of 12 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists are all career highs. Yet his 28.9 minutes per game are in line with his minutes from last year.

This issue has been with his shooting, which is down drastically. His field goal percentage sits at 38.5 percent, which is the lowest since his rookie year, when he appeared in just 15 games. His perimeter shooting is also low at 36.5 percent, but his attempts have nearly doubled from range.

A look at Crabbe’s advanced stats paint a similar picture. His offensive win share is a measly 0.5, while his true shooting percentage has dropped as well.

An even deeper look at his shooting breakdown shows his biggest struggles have come when shooting from within 3 feet of the basket, and corner three pointers. The knock on Crabbe coming from Portland was that he was a one dimension shooter. But these are both areas that a player with his ability should have no problem with.

That all being said, watching Crabbe in game you can see why the Nets brought him here. He remains a lethal perimeter shooter, and excels at the catch and shoot off ball screens. He also recently had back to back 20-point games for the first time in his career.

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Moreover, his intensity on the defensive end has been spectacular, and has really rubbed off on his teammates. His rebound percentage is up 2 percent, and his defensive win share already matches last seasons output. Brooklyn as a team has stepped it up defensively  over the last few months.

The Nets have played in, and lost a lot of close game recently. They need Crabbe to hit his shots in crunch time, and we’ve seen that he can do so.

His usage is at a career high, so it could be a case he needs more time to adjust to that and Atkinson’s system. The second half of this season will be interesting to watch along those lines. Even more so with Russell coming back soon, and less of those shots going to Crabbe.

Crabbe is under contract for two more years after this one at 18.5 million each. With his talent and today’s NBA market, those years could easily be worth their value, and especially so if he improves his efficiency.

The Brooklyn Nets are clearly a much improved team this season. But so many of their close losses have fans wondering what could have been. They still have an opportunity to finish the year strong and make some noise down the stretch of the season.

For that to happen, Atkinson and his staff will be looking for more consistency on a nightly basis from the fifth-year wing.