It’s taken some time for the Nets’ two new Allens — Allen Crabbe and Jarrett Allen — to get acclimated to the team. Allen Crabbe spent much of the summer recovering from foot surgery and Jarrett Allen missed a few games with a sore foot. Not as big a deal as Crabbe, but it slowed him nonetheless.
Then, on Sunday, both had big games, Allen Crabbe not only showing he is a premier shooter in this league, but that he can do it in the clutch. A lot of the Nets’ big comeback had to do with Crabbe hitting big threes, part of a 25-point effort. Jarrett Allen on the other hand got 12 minutes on the court, critical for a 19-year-old and used them well, at one point bringing down the house with a classic skyhook. He finished with six points on 3-of-4 shooting, three boards, and a block.
“It’s just being more aggressive, just telling myself to stay aggressive,” Crabbe told Brian Lewis. “I have a really great opportunity to do bigger things over here, and I just want to take advantage of that, and prove to them that I’m worthy of it.
“But most importantly, just playing within the team, still making team plays. My teammates are finding me in transition. I give credit to them, playing team basketball. Things are just happening, shots are falling for me now. I think it’s just about being consistent from here on out.”
The teammate who’s finding him the most is Spencer Dinwiddie. As John Schuhmann noted in his Power Rankings...
Crabbe has shot 25-for-49 (51 percent) on threes with Dinwiddie on the floor and 11-for-20 (55 percent) off Dinwiddie passes.
Kenny Atkinson thinks his 25-point performance vs. Golden State coming right after 18 points vs. Utah and 15 vs. Boston shows he’s getting into the swing of things. And he’s getting it defensively, too.
“Yes, we’re on him about it. We’re really challenging him to defend better. He’s improving,” Atkinson said. “I also think he’s starting to get his rhythm a bit. He missed a ton of time in the summer and he missed time in training camp, so he’s starting to hit his stride, catch his rhythm, understand what we’re doing offensively.
As for Jarrett Allen, he’s now had two stints since coming back from six missed games with that foot soreness. His ability to keep up with the Warriors was encouraging. At one point in the second half, Draymond Green took off down the court and Allen matched him stride for stride. Not a lot of near seven-footers can do that, particularly at age 19. Encouraging yes, surprising, no, says Allen.
“No, not really. That’s like saying I don’t fully believe in myself,” said Allen, who had missed six straight games with a sore foot. “I believed I was ready to play against a team like that. … I wouldn’t necessarily call it satisfying, but coming back from the injury, it just felt good to be back.”
Allen had spent his time on the sidelines working on one particular skillset. Lewis reports he worked with assistant Bret Brielmaier on running the pick-and-roll.
“When I was out and I was able to move some, that’s all we worked on the most, the pick-and-roll, trying to teach me how to do it right,” Allen said. “It was helpful a lot. A rookie coming into this hard league of men, you’ve got to know all the small stuff to give an advantage … using my athleticism.”
Atkinson has been excited about Allen since the Nets took him at No. 22 in the NBA Draft. More so now.
“His ability to roll to the rim makes it harder for them to switch when you have a 7-footer out there that can put pressure on the rim,” Atkinson said, giving Allen that extra inch. “He was really good, and then defensively we feel completely comfortable with him out there. We had him on [Omri] Casspi out there because he’s so agile and can move.
“I can’t wait until he really hits his peak. [Sunday] was a glimpse of what he can be and how important he’ll be for us in the future.”
He is not alone.
- Atkinson loving this ‘glimpse’ at Nets’ intriguing teen big man - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Allen Crabbe is starting to look worth Nets’ huge investment - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets On Track For Another Season Of Moral Victories - Steve Lichtenstein - WFAN