Brooklyn Nets: 4 lineup ideas to fill in for Caris LeVert

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(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
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Option 3: Go back to the guy who lost the job in the first place

Allen Crabbe started the first two games of the preseason at the 2 spot, with Caris LeVert starting at the 3, before he sprained his left ankle early in the second preseason game at Detroit.

Coach Kenny Atkinson’s adjustment was to move Joe Harris into the lineup at the 3 and shift LeVert to the 2. Crabbe has been coming off the bench for the Brooklyn Nets since he returned from the injury in the second game of the regular season.

So there is a certain symmetry to Crabbe returning to the starting lineup in the wake of LeVert’s injury.

There are a lot of fans down on Crabbe right now and we’ll get into that elephant in the room in a bit. But to his credit, he’s been doing a lot of other things to provide value on the floor — he’s defending well, rebounding well, doing all those little things that winning organizations need.

Buuuuuut ..,

General manager Sean Marks didn’t give this guy a four-year, $75 million offer sheet as a restricted free agent in 2016 and then acquire him in a trade in July 2017 because he’s such a nice rebounder.

No, Crabbe got that offer because he was a shooter, a threat from 3-point range who really can help spread out a defense.

And that’s the issue right now. When he returned from his ankle injury on Oct. 19, Crabbe made his first two shots. Since then, he’s not been making shots. Like, not at all.

Crabbe was 2-for-9 against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday. He was 1-for-8 against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday. In those two games, he was a combined 2-for-11 from 3-point range.

If those were outliers, it would be one thing. But they just aren’t. Crabbe is shooting 25.2 percent overall, 26.9 percent from 3-point range. He’s averaging 6.5 points in 23.3 minutes per game.

In per 36 minutes terms, Crabbe has gone from averaging 16.2 points in that span last season to just 10.1 this year.

Were he shooting, he’d be a viable option. Until he is, however, he’s not.