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Jarrett Allen should relish role as backup to DeAndre Jordan

Jul 23, 2019 0 comments

There's no shame in playing behind a three-time All-NBA Player, two-time rebounding champion, two-time All-Defensive team player, one-time All-Star and the NBA's all-time leader in field goal percentage at 67 percent.

But don't tell Jarrett Allen that.

The Nets youngster, at just 20, is on the rise and there's a growing concern in Brooklyn that he'll be buried behind DeAndre Jordan on the depth chart.

The reality is Allen is clearly a budding star in the making, but Jordan's ability to bang with the Joel Embiid's and Marc Gasol's and Al Horford's of the world make it doubly important for the Nets to station a viable defensive presence in the paint. Not that Allen isn't a talented defender in his own right as his 1.5 bpg average is among the league leaders.

As a rim protector, the former University of Texas standout stacks up to the league's best. Unfortunately, his lack of strength and the fact that his young frame hasn't filled out yet has worked against him, specifically last year in the playoffs against Embiid.

Allen was thrown around like a rag doll at times and was even dealt a crushing elbow from the Sixers outspoken center that later boiled over into Jared Dudley standing up for his fallen temmmate.

Sean Marks burst into the referees' locker room following the team's Game 4 loss to Philadelphia in which Brooklyn was at the receiving end of some overly physical play where the officials swallowed their whistles.

Backup center Ed Davis was injured early in the series and didn't return leaving Allen as the only viable center option to compete with the Sixers bigs. Things didn't go swimmingly for Allen, but it was a definite growing experience.

Now enter Jordan, who no man in the league can or would even try to push around. Whether Allen or Jordan should start is honestly a silly question. Kenny Atkinson always determines his lineups based on the strength of his opponents and the flow of the game, so Jordan's arrival in Brooklyn just brings more toughness and physicality to a Nets frontline that was lacking in both areas last season.

Davis was a terrific rebounder and hustle player for the Nets last season, but Jordan adds a different dynamic to the Nets defense. Perhaps Allen's minutes shrink from 36 per game to 28-30, but at 31-years old, Brooklyn isn't interested in tiring out Jordan, but instead keeping him fresh for a playoff push.

Expect Jordan to receive 15-20 minutes per game depending on the matchup and juncture in the season. Naming the starter is ceremonial at best, and both the Nets and the coaching staff understand Allen's upside and they won't do anything to hinder his development. Instead, Allen will learn from a terrific rebounder, defender, and hustle player in Jordan. 


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