Los Angeles native Allen Crabbe has gained more playing time for the Portland Trail Blazers this season. Crabbe played in 81 games, 30 more than his sophomore season. His minute averages also doubled from last season, going from 13 to 26 minutes per game.
“I just stuck with it,” Crabbe said in regards of gaining the trust of the coaching staff. “Whatever the organization asked me to do, I just did that and put in a lot of work in the off season.”
Portland has reached the second round for the first time since 2014 and battled against the Golden State Warriors in the series. Crabbe has been shooting at 47 percent in field goals and 32 percent in three-pointers in the playoffs.
Although the Trail Blazers were eliminated by the Golden State Warriors, Crabbe scored 20 points in game 5, his highest postseason score.
The work he does for the Trail Blazers is fulfilling a childhood aspiration. The shooting guard recalled his experience watching the playoffs while growing up.
“It was a big experience, being a Lakers fan, always being able to watch them in the playoffs and seeing all the success they’ve had,” Crabbe said. “It’s always been a dream to play on this level.”
The Trail Blazers’ roster has major contrasts from the 2014-2015 season. Guard Damian Lillard is the only player that remained from the starting lineup. Nine-year Trail Blazers player LaMarcus Aldridge took his talents to San Antonio. Center Robin Lopez moved to the New York Knicks.
Six players returned to Portland, several of whom only played for the Blazers in their young careers. The average age of the team is 24-25 years old, making them the youngest team in the 2016 playoffs.
Crabbe comes off the bench with versatility due to his shooting accuracy and 6’6” frame, playing either as a guard or a forward throughout the postseason.
In the eight games that Crabbe started for Portland, he played a guard. During this season, the L.A. native scored in the double digits 22 times, earning a season high of 26 points in the Trail Blazers’ win against the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 26.
Ultimately, Crabbe scored 832 points from all the games played this season.
The Los Angeles Clippers fell to the Trail Blazers after 6 games in the first round. Being the villain in his hometown is no problem for Crabbe, hearing jeers in the Staples Center did not affect him.
“It doesn’t really mean anything,” Crabbe said. “You get used to it after a while, it doesn’t matter.”
Crabbe, grandson of Apostle Frederick K.C. Price and Dr. Betty Price, attended Price High School and became Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010.
He attended UC Berkeley and played for the Golden Bears for three years. In 2013, Crabbe became Pac-12 Player of the Year. Last year, Crabbe had his high school jersey number retired. His biggest adjustment since entering the NBA was gaining wisdom from veteran players.
“Guys are bigger, faster, stronger. Guys who have experience, they know a little bit more than you, but that’s why you just learn from older guys,” Crabbe said. “You ask questions and you can watch, pick up on little things”