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Brooklyn Nets Season Review: Allen Crabbe

THE NUMBERS

THE SEASON

Allen Crabbe wants Nets fans to know that he didn’t reach the expectations that he set for his first year in Brooklyn. He is eyeing a sizable improvement in his second year with the team.

“I didn’t have the consistent season I wanted to have,” Crabbe told BrooklynNets.com. “But I got one year under my belt [in Brooklyn] and I know where I can be effective on this team and what I can bring – what I can do. Just go into offseason and come back a completely different player.”

Crabbe has the tools to be an elite scorer in the NBA, which is why the Nets pursued him through two offseasons before landing him last summer. The issue in his first year with the team was consistency. It wasn’t uncommon to see him drop 25 points one night and follow it up with 6 the following game. Part of that was down to assertiveness.

In trying to be a good teammate, Crabbe often deferred to teammates, which prodded them and Kenny Atkinson to publicly call on him to be aggressive.

"He’s a really good shooter – a really efficient shooter, he gets it out quick,” Caris 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.”

The message appeared to click for the 25-year-old in April. Crabbe averaged 21.2 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 blocks while shooting 54.8 percent (50 percent from downtown, 93.8 percent from the charity stripe). The Nets would win three of the five games that Crabbe played that month and it was his confident play on both sides of the floor that made a difference.

The peak of that stretch came on his birthday on April 9 – the final home game of the Nets’ season. Crabbe poured in a career-high 41 on just 15 shots – the lowest amount of field goals attempted to reach 40 in 18 years. As good as Crabbe was in April, his impact was felt throughout the season in a number of ways.

In just his first campaign in Brooklyn, Crabbe made team history as he broke the Nets single-season record for made threes, eclipsing the previous mark of 169 by more than 30 and finishing with 201. He had six games of hitting six or more shots from downtown and two where he hit eight. He was also one of the team’s top perimeter defenders, usually tasked to guard the opposition’s top perimeter threats. Crabbe is looking forward to having a full offseason to work with the Nets’ renowned development staff and reach even bigger ambitions in the seasons to come.

“I didn’t really get to have much of summer [to prepare for this season], and with injuries, I missed some games this year. I definitely will have that in the back of my mind when I’m setting my goals before each and every season, to break my record,” Crabbe said. “That is something that I look forward to breaking each and every year."

PLUS/MINUS

Crabbe has the tools to have a decisive impact on both sides of the floor, but doing that every night will determine whether or not he takes the next step. He was fourth on the team in scoring at 13.2 points per game, but if he can get his field goal percentage (.407 on the season) to his career average of 44 percent, it would raise his scoring average.

Part of that comes down to driving the ball more. The majority of Crabbe’s field goal attempts came from downtown as he attempted 7.1 threes per game. In games against Charlotte on March 8 and Detroit on Feb. 7, he showed more balance in getting points and scored 29 and 34 respectively. Crabbe needs to emulate that approach more often.