Brooklyn Nets' Allen Crabbe is Closing In on Franchise History
Allen Crabbe is only eight threes away from setting the new single-season record for the Nets
BROOKLYN – Vince Carter, Kerry Kittles, Deron Williams, Allen Crabbe?
Eight three-pointers are all that stand between Crabbe and Nets’ history, as he has a chance to eclipse the franchise’s record for made threes (169) in a single-season. Not bad considering it’s just his first season in Brooklyn. Despite what’s at stake, the 25-year-old insists he’s not focused on topping the mark.
“I don’t really pay much attention to it,” Crabbe said after Saturday’s practice at HSS Training Center. “Friends and family, they’re the ones who like to read the articles and look up all these stats on me and stuff. I just come in and play basketball; keep trying to develop myself as a basketball player, do what I can to help the team win.”
Crabbe was alerted to the record, which was set by Williams during the 2012-13 season, about a week ago. It was hilariously through Twitter at first before friends and family started contacting him about it. He has largely stayed quiet about it among his teammates. In fact, several had no idea he was that close to history. Caris LeVert almost did a double take once he heard about it.
“The single season record,” LeVert asked. “Wow!”
Once LeVert heard about the mark from reporters, he immediately went over to Crabbe to quiz him about it after before appearing to encourage him to go for it. Seeing LeVert’s response, Crabbe credited his teammates for helping him get this far.
“I wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for my teammates, guys setting screens for me on fastbreaks, it’s a team effort,” Crabbe said. “I’ve got to give credit for helping me get that close to breaking records.”
After four years as a reserve in Portland, where he shot an impressive 44 percent from downtown in the 2016-17 campaign, Crabbe is going through his first full season as a starter in Brooklyn. There’s been some ups and downs as he’s adjusted to a new conference and role.
“I think it’s mental,” Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson explained. “I think as the games come in and different coverages, different guys covering you, for him – in Portland he was playing against backups – but now you’re playing against starters all of the time and elite defenders.”
Crabbe got off to a slow start in October, but appeared to find his niche on the Nets in November as he averaged 14.4 points, 4.5 rebounds and shot 44 percent (42.6 from downtown). Then injuries and trades appeared to take him off his game as he shot a combined 37 percent from the floor in December and January. In February, however, he showed off his potential as he had his best scoring month as a professional, dropping 17.1 points per game.
Though Crabbe hasn’t matched that level of production in March, Atkinson continues to praise the guard’s effort on defense and his impact on offensive sets.
“We used to have that with [Kyle] Korver [in Atlanta], because they just sit with him in the corner,” Atkinson explained. “We’re scoring and Jarrett [Allen] is getting lobs – we got two lobs against Charlotte because the defense is hugged up to us -- he opens up a lot of things.”
But make no mistake, Atkinson wants to see Crabbe be more aggressive. The coach revealed he shared critical articles of the guard to get him fired up. And when Crabbe got just four shots up against the Sixers in a 120-97 loss on Monday, the coach publicly called on him to be assertive.
“He’s got to continue being aggressive, we have to continue to look for him and to screen for him, because when your best shooter is getting four shots that’s not good enough,” Atkinson said.
His teammates also agree.
"He’s a really good shooter – a really efficient shooter, he gets it out quick,” LeVert said. “We need him to be aggressive because he’s so talented. He’s a very unselfish player so being aggressive for him is just flipping that notch a little bit.”
So when Crabbe explains that he isn’t paying much attention to the Nets’ three-point record, it’s with good reason. He knows his potential and wants to live up to the bigger expectations that his coaches and teammates have for him.
“I sat down and I told them [the coaching staff] my goals that I want to achieve while I’m here in the NBA,” Crabbe said. “We have a great coaching staff in front of us to help me get to that level and they believe in me, so I’m just not taking this opportunity for granted.”
He added, “Just coming in each and every day trying to prove my worth and prove what they invested into me. I feel like that’s what I owe them back, but just this opportunity that I have now is once in a lifetime.”