Brooklyn Nets: Allen Crabbe ruled out for game in Montreal

(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe, who sprained his left ankle Monday night in the first period of their preseason game at Detroit, will not play Wednesday against the Toronto Raptors in Montreal.

To the surprise of no one, Brooklyn Nets guard Allen Crabbe will be held out of Wednesday’s preseason game against the Toronto Raptors at Bell Centre in Montreal.

Crabbe, entering his second season with the Nets after being acquired from the Portland Trail Blazers in a July 2017 trade, sprained his left ankle Monday night.

The injury occurred less than three minutes into the game, when he rolled the ankle while closing out on defense against Detroit’s Reggie Bullock.

Crabbe was helped to the locker room by teammates Dzanan Musa and Kenneth Faried and did not return.

X-rays Monday night on the ankle were negative, but Brian Lewis of the New York Post reported Tuesday that Crabbe would not play against Toronto.

Treveon Graham got the bulk of the playing time in Crabbe’s absence and wound up logging 34 minutes, most of any of the Brooklyn reserves Monday and the second-most on the club behind Caris LeVert‘s 35.

An extended absence by Crabbe could be tough for Brooklyn to overcome, as he was the best 3-point shooter of the returning starters from last season at 37.8 percent, slightly better than DeMarre Carroll‘s 37.1 percent mark.

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The other starters used this preseason were not nearly as effective from behind the arc. LeVert shot 34.7 percent, Jarrett Allen was 5-for-15 and D’Angelo Russell hit at a 32.4 percent clip.

Crabbe led the Nets last season in 3-point volume, taking 532 attempts and making 201. Joe Harris was the most accurate Net last season at 41.9 percent.

The ability to space the floor is essential to Brooklyn’s reworked offense this season. The Nets are playing much more often in 5-out sets to help create more space for the slashers such as LeVert and Russell and to create room for Allen’s runs to the rim as a roll man off the pick-and-roll.

Meanwhile, newly acquired power forward Faried had been expected to make his preseason debut for the Nets on Monday, but was held out by coach Kenny Atkinson.

Faried told Brian Lewis of the New York Post that Atkinson talked to him in advance about the plan to hold him out and that it was not an issue.

"“Coach had the plan. I’m fine, though. Montreal; I’ll be back. It should be good. I’m fine. I’m like I said, me and coach discussed it. He was like, ‘Hey, not today.’ OK, cool. It’s perfectly fine with me.”"

Faried had been sidelined with soreness in his left ankle and only returned to a full workload in practice on Friday.

Atkinson said it was just a matter of getting Faried back into game shape.

"“He just needs more of a build-up, that’s all, for Faried.  I expect him to play the next game.”"

The Nets acquired Faried from the Denver Nuggets in July along with Darrell Arthur and Denver’s top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick in exchange for Isaiah Whitehead. Arthur was later moved along to the Phoenix Suns in the deal which brought Jared Dudley to Brooklyn.

For Faried, who is entering the final year of the four-year, $50 million extension he signed with the Nuggets in October 2014, coming to Brooklyn gives the Newark, N.J., native an opportunity to rehabilitate his career.

Faried was considered a rising star in the NBA four years ago, when he was a starter for USA Basketball’s gold-medal winning club at the FIBA World Cup in Spain, earning all-tournament honors in the process.

But the arrival of new coach Mike Malone in 2015 led to a gradual — at first — and later a dramatic decline in Faried’s minutes, which shrunk to 14.4 per game last season after the Nuggets signed former All-Star Paul Millsap to play the 4 spot next to Nikola Jokic.

Wednesday’s game in Montreal is the first NBA preseason action in the city since 2015 and is part of the NBA Canada series.

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It will be the Nets’ first-ever visit to Montreal.