Allen Crabbe returned to the Brooklyn Nets on Friday after missing most of the final three preseason games, plus the season opener, with a sprained left ankle.
His start couldn’t have been better — Crabbe striped a 3-pointer for his first shot off the bench and then hit a mid-range J after making a nice ball fake to create space.
From there, he did a nice job on the glass, but his shot just disappeared. He was pulling everything left, a sign that his lift was still a bit off-balanced. That will get better as his ankle continues to heal.
There are rookies in the NBA playing better than Rodions Kurucs. But it’s entirely possible that — outside of New York Knicks undrafted rookie free agent Allonzo Trier — no rookie has been more of a pleasant surprise than Rodi.
The Latvian kid keeps getting minutes and then keeps making things happen for the Nets when he gets them. He forced his way into the rotation and it’s going to be difficult to justify sitting him down when the injured forwards get healthy.
He’s earned his time and he continues to maximize it with his aggressive play. He makes rookie mistakes, sure. But they are enthusiastic mistakes and you can live with that.
And to think so many of us had this kid on the train to Uniondale for most of the season.