The Brooklyn Nets got the latest sign that second-year center Jarrett Allen is continuing to push his game to new levels, and another that Allen Crabbe may be on his way to finding his old level.
A week ago, Allen had 18 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in a win against Denver that Nets coach Kenny Atkinson called one of the best games of his brief season-plus career. After missing two games due to illness earlier this week, the 20-year-old returned to score 16 points with 12 rebounds and two blocks in Friday night’s win in Washington.
Against the Clippers Saturday night, Allen made it back-to-back double-doubles, notching his fifth of the season with a career-high 24 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 8-of-13 from the field. That’s one more double-double than he had in the entirety of his rookie season last year.
“Fantastic,” said Atkinson. “He’s all over the place. I should have played him more. He was really good. Both boards. His offensive rebounding has been unexpected and a pleasant surprise. If he can keep that up it’s really going to help us.”
Allen had his way early against the Clippers, with 13 points after one quarter and 17 at halftime. With the game tied at 106 in the fourth quarter, he threw down a dunk off a lob from Spencer Dinwiddie out of a pick and roll, then gave the Nets a 110-108 lead moments later with two free throws and finished the fourth quarter with seven points.
“Just thanking my teammates,” said Allen. “They kept looking for me in the first quarter and all throughout the game. Really just pick and rolls.”
Crabbe’s teammates were looking for him early too, and he responded by knocking down his first two 3-point attempts in the first minute of the game.
“We’ve been doing that lately, just trying to get him shots, get him looks out of timeouts,” said Atkinson. “Looking for him in transition, the guys were looking for him.”
A career 39.6 percent 3-point shooter entering the season, Crabbe had made just 27.3 percent through his first 16 games after missing the season-opener with an ankle injury that also cost him most of the preseason.
He ended up with a season-high 15 points, finishing 3-for-6 from 3-point range. It was his third game in the starting lineup following Caris LeVert’s foot injury.
“That slump that I’ve been in, it’s always good to see the ball go through the hoop,” said Crabbe. “Just kept firing it. It’s all about sticking with it. That’s the only way you’re going to get out of a slump. Coaching staff tells me to keep shooting. Nobody’s telling me to stop. Just got to keep at it until it clicks. Hopefully this game gets it in the right direction.”
“I think he showed spark tonight,” said Atkinson. “I loved his energy. Not only shot the ball well but I thought he drove to the basket. Thought his energy was great. That’s really good news for us because we obviously need him. Good game by him tonight.”