BOISE — Allen Crabbe's first NBA season has not been what he hoped - but the soft-spoken guard's shooting ability is matched by his optimism.
He is on his second stint with the Idaho Stampede after being assigned by the Portland Trail Blazers. He scored a team-high 26 points in a 110-102 loss to Reno on Friday.
"It was frustrating at first. ... I know my opportunity will come, so I have to be ready," Crabbe said.
Idaho will again host Reno on Saturday night in its home finale. The Stampede need to win their final four games to have a chance to surpass the Bighorns for the eighth and final D-League playoff spot.
Crabbe is the second player the Trail Blazers have sent to the Stampede. Fellow rookie C.J. McCollum played two games in January.
"I don't think it's anyone's dream to make it to the NBA, then get sent down a few times to the D-League. I take it as a positive when I get sent here, to get out there, play a lot and work hard on the things I'm trying to improve,'' Crabbe said.
In 14 games with Portland, Crabbe averaged 5.1 minutes and 2.1 points per game. In Idaho, he's scored 88 points in five games.
"It definitely was an eye-opener, being the guy used to always being out on the floor, to be sitting on the bench most nights," he said.
The Pac-12 Player of the Year last season, he left Cal after his junior year and was considered one of the best pure shooters in the 2013 draft. Crabbe was taken 31st overall (first pick of second round) in last June's draft by the Cavaliers but was dealt to Portland later that night.
"If you're in a situation like mine and you have a bad attitude, they can find someone to replace you - I just am making sure I'm prepared, keeping my head up," Crabbe said.
Dave Southorn: 377-6420; Twitter: @IDS_Southorn