The Portland Trail Blazers have recalled rookie shooting guard Allen Crabbe after three games with the Idaho Stampede. Crabbe averaged 16.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during that stretch. While it’s nice to have him back (and not at all surprising), he will return to a nonexistent role in Portland. Even the ongoing absence of Blazers guard Mo Williams is unlikely to thrust Crabbe into regular rotation.
I’d have preferred he spend just a few more games in the D-League. It’s pretty clear to me that Trail Blazers Head Coach Terry Stotts does not plan on using Crabbe in a meaningful way yet, and he would benefit more from some court time and confidence, regardless of venue. He will probably sit while Portland battles for playoff position and he will definitely sit during the playoffs themselves.
Still, just being around the team has its benefits. Crabbe will continue to learn by watching, albeit more slowly than doing. He is also available to practice with the Trail Blazers, which cannot be ignored as constructive. The slow start to Crabbe’s NBA career will eventually pick up steam, but there will be no snowballing until he’s given the proper push. All we can do is wait and recognize that his time has not yet come.
It will though. A 21 year old 6’6” guard with a laudable jump shot and impressive range will find a role on an NBA team. At this point, it might be better for Crabbe if that team is not Portland, simply because of room and redundancy, but these things are always subject to change. Crabbe is available to play against the Golden State Warriors in the Rose City tonight, though his actual participation remains unlikely.
Check out highlights from Crabbe’s 23 point performance with the Stampede, courtesy of the NBA D-League Youtube channel: