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Allen Crabbe on Nets: ‘It’s a match made in heaven’

New Orleans Pelicans v Brooklyn Nets Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

We haven’t heard a lot from Allen Crabbe this summer. No trade rumors, no free agency. Just a lot of work. And in an interview published Monday, Crabbe told WCBS’s D.J. Sixsmith he’s happy where he’s at and hopes to pick up right where left off.

“It’s a match made in heaven,” Crabbe told Sixsmith, noting that Wesley Matthews, a teammate on the Blazers had told him, “There are 30 teams in the league, but it only takes one team to love you. And for me, it’s Brooklyn.”

And Crabbe, like his teammates, says he’s looking forward to the season.

“I definitely feel we competed really well last year. Regardless of our record, I don’t feel that’s how good we were,” said Crabbe. “Last year was a learning curve for us and we will know this year what it takes to get a defensive stop or execute offensively down the stretch. I don’t feel like we’re too far off, I feel like we have the right pieces.”

Personally, Crabbe said he hopes he can continue the hot shooting and all around play that marked his game the last two months of the season.

Crabbe took a while to settle in Brooklyn, shooting 35.3% from three through his first 50 games of the season. Then he (finally) became more aggressive. He not only shot 41.7% from deep over his last 25 games (February 6 through April 11), but his scoring average improved more than anyone else on the team, going from 11.6 to 16.3 points per game, including 10 games with 20 or more points and 10 with 5 or more three’s made.

On April 9, his 26th birthday, he exploded for 41 points, his career high.

“I want to jump start this season the way I ended last season,” Crabbe told Sixsmith. “It took time, but I’m glad it finally clicked for me. That 41-point game was great. I never had 40 points in high school or college and I get it in the NBA.”

The swingman said he’s been working out in Brooklyn since he took a short vacation after the season ended in April.

“The Nets have a strict program. they want us back two or three weeks after. We had a little down time after the season was over, but they want us right back in.”

He said much of his work in the gym is focused on improving his ball-making and decision-making. “I’ve watched a lot of film.” He also helped recruit two Blazers teammates, Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier. Both signed with Brooklyn.

Crabbe also talked about how the Nets four-year, $75 million offer sheet in July 2016 blew him away. So, too, did the team’s continuing interest that led to Brooklyn acquiring him in a trade for Andrew Nicholson a year later. Crabbe said he was happy in Portland, claiming he would have agreed to a minimum contract. Then, the Nets came calling.

“Brooklyn called and told me the offer. I was shocked. I was definitely shocked,” Crabbe admitted. “It showed that an organization was really interested in me. You couldn’t pass that up. Signing that offer sheet was rally a no-brainer. Of course, Portland matched that, but for Brooklyn to still be there a year later it showed a lot.”

He also said he had the final “say-so” on the trade because for it to go through, he had to agree to waive a $5 million trade kicker.

“I had a talk with my family and they were, ‘you have to go to Brooklyn.’” And he did.