Allen Crabbe has been streaky since joining the Brooklyn Nets. But he needs to show more consistency if he’s going to be a long-term fixture.
Allen Crabbe has been having an up and down season with the Nets. During the month of December, Crabbe shot .352 from field goal range and .307 from three-point range, averaged only 10.6 points and 1.7 assists per game. But it looks like Crabbe is finally getting his shooting stroke and confidence back.
Crabbe showed confidence when he shot the ball against Orlando in the team’s first game of 2018, going 3-for-6 (.500) from three-point range. Crabbe is at his best off catch-and-shoot plays. A majority of the threes he scored were off the catch-and-shoot. Crabbe did not attempt any mid-range shots. The Nets need him to shoot from all areas of the floor. Crabbe shot a perfect 6-for-6 from the free-throw line to go along with the three-point shooting.
Since Brooklyn’s win over the Magic, Crabbe recorded two consecutive nine-point performances against the Timberwolves and the Celtics. Crabbe needs to score more than That forced head coach Kenny Atkinson to think about changes.
According to Net Income of NetsDaily, Atkinson addressed Crabbe’s struggles.
“Listen, he’s struggling a little bit. I feel like he’s getting decent looks. I thought he attacked the rim [vs. Indiana], which I liked. Maybe that can get him going a little more, getting to the rim. I don’t think he’s driving close-outs as well as he should. They’re closing out on him. He’s got to dribble, and he did it — he did it driving. Listen, the guy’s a 42 percent career three-point shooter. We’re going to keep trusting him and trusting it.”
Crabbe started the next game against Toronto last Monday and had had an excellent all-around night. Crabbe finished with 20 points, three assists and seven rebounds. He shot 4-for-6 from three-point range, 6-for-11 from the field, and a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
The Nets need more games like this, where he’s contributing in multiple ways, out of Crabbe. He did it again against the Pistons last Wednesday, dropping 20 points and dishing three assists. That was the first time this season Crabbe had consecutive 20-point games. He dropped another 20 in the team’s most recent game, Wednesday against San Antonio.
Being the highest-paid player on the team—he’s making $19,322,500 this season— Crabbe has a lot to prove. He needs to be that complete player, not just a one-dimensional scorer.
He also needs to learn to stop hoisting threes when his shot isn’t dropping. When Crabbe gets into a shooting slump during games it’s hard to recover. That’s when he needs to focus more on his rebounding and passing.
Regarding his shooting, he needs to shoot more mid-range shots. Opposing teams know he wants to shoot the three. But if Crabbe can spread the floor, this will not only make more scoring opportunities for Brooklyn but he can improve his game.