Guard Allen Crabbe will face his former team Friday night, when the Brooklyn Nets play the Portland Trailblazers.
Point guard D’Angelo Russell’s “revenge game” against his former team resulted in a Nets loss last week. Shooting guard Allen Crabbe is looking for a different narrative as he enters the Moda Center on Friday.
After getting a four-year/$75-million offer sheet from the Nets matched by Portland in the summer of 2015, Allen Crabbe has ended up in Brooklyn this season via trade.
Now, following an extremely inconsistent start to his career with the Nets, Crabbe gets a chance to show his old team what they’re missing, and his new team what he can do.
He told The New York Post he’s more than excited to see his old teammates, and hopefully put on a good performance while visiting.
“Yeah, I’m a little more excited. After I got traded and the schedule came out, this is the first game that I looked for. It’s no negatives. It was a good time here. But it’s going to be fun playing against old teammates and coaching staff, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Maybe it will spark some fire in the guard’s game, as he’s seriously struggled to start the year. Crabbe is averaging 11.1 points on 38 percent shooting from the field, and has appeared not yet comfortable with his role in Brooklyn.
Head coach Kenny Atkinson fully believes he can be a starter, but only time will tell.
“For us, he’s a starter. In the beginning we had him in and out because he was on a minutes restriction. Now we popped him into the starting lineup. He’s got to be able to be an elite starter in this league. That should be his goal. He’s trying to get his rhythm, and [we’re] challenging him to be more consistent. … But [he’s] doing great. We love him.”
For Crabbe individually, he agrees inconsistency is the biggest issue.
“That’s one of the biggest things I’m trying to change is the inconsistency, having 20 one night and the next night having three or four. That’s something I’ve really been trying to focus on.”
On how he’ll do that, he has one word: aggressive.
“It’s just me having that mindset to be aggressive. When I’m aggressive, getting the shot attempts up, things happen.”
Though he missed an entire summer of practicing, Crabbe won’t take the easy road out. For him, there aren’t excuses.
“I don’t think so. I’ll take the blame for the inconsistency. That’s on me. I’ve had enough time … I don’t attribute my inconsistency to time off. It’s just me. Certain games I’ll be aggressive. Certain games I’ll find myself trying to play the right way.”
In Brooklyn, freedom as a player doesn’t mean avoiding mistakes, but learning from them.
“They’re always telling me I’m that type of player who plays not to make mistakes. But here [they say] ‘That’s the only way your game’s going to grow. Take risks, make mistakes, get out of your comfort zone.’ … They’re giving me the freedom to do that.”
In the Nets last game, a loss on the road to the Denver Nuggets, Crabbe scored 3 points on 1-8 shooting from the field in 19 minutes. As the fifth highest paid player in franchise history, performances of that caliber aren’t going to cut it.
Both he and the Brooklyn Nets will look to improve in Friday night’s match against the Portland Trailblazers. Tip-off is at 10:00 PM EST.