Brooklyn Nets: 3 things to watch in visit to Washington

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Brooklyn Nets
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1. Crabbe showed some signs of life

Brooklyn Nets coach Kenny Atkinson on Wednesday turned to former starter Allen Crabbe to replace Caris LeVert at the 2 spot and Crabbe responded with just six points on 2-of-6 shooting, going 2-of-4 from 3-point range, before fouling out after 26 minutes of playing time.

He also added two steals in a performance that didn’t inspire a lot of optimism. But Atkinson wasn’t displeased with Crabbe’s performance, telling Zach Braziller of the New York Post:

"“I can’t say I didn’t like what I saw.”"

So it’s not an overwhelmingly glowing endorsement and Atkinson is reportedly still considering starting Spencer Dinwiddie and D’Angelo Russell together in the backcourt, although the coach has worries about what losing Dinwiddie would do to the second unit’s ability to score.

Atkinson pointed to Crabbe’s track record — specifically Crabbe being a nearly 40 percent career shooter from 3-point range coming into the season (39.7 percent) — as a reason to be hopeful.

"“I take Allen Crabbe’s body of work — his whole body of work — and think he’ll get out of this little rut and it’ll [get to] where it belongs. It’s almost like a guy that’s hit .340 his whole career and all of a sudden he’s mired in a .220 slump. I think it happens to every good player. “I don’t know about the greats, but every really good player, they go through it.”"

Crabbe is averaging 6.5 points and 3.1 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game this season, shooting .257/.282/13-for-17 in the 14 games in which he’s appeared. Crabbe missed the opener in October after spraining his left ankle during the preseason.

What was notable about both of Crabbe’s makes Wednesday is that each were shot in rhythm off a catch-and-shoot. Specifically, he caught it and shot it — no extra time, no thinking, just instinctive.

When he had time to consider options, he missed three times. His other miss was a catch-and-shoot that was just long.

Maybe the way to get through the process is to stop thinking about getting through the process and just trust the skill set that got him the four-year, $75 million contract in the first place.