Brooklyn Nets: Jarrett Allen talks NBA bubble, his role in team’s rotation

Brooklyn Nets, Jarrett Allen

In an interview with Brian Lewis of the New York Post, Brooklyn Nets big man Jarrett Allen expressed uncertainty about whether players will be able to fully abide by the rules of the NBA bubble in Walt Disney World later this month.

“It’s going to be 310 players or something like that. Take NBA players out of it: That’s a lot of people to make sure you have complete control and complete guidelines over. Then you add the NBA aspect, a bunch of grown men in this situation. We have our needs, we have our wants, and you know how we are,” Allen said with a smile. “I agree there’s going to be some level of hardship like Dame [Damian Lillard] said.”

Despite the varying levels of apprehension Allen feels the players are in good hands with the NBA and Walt Disney World.

“For everybody, including myself, it’s a little bit of worry. We’re all going to an unknown,” Allen said. “But at the end of the day, I have no doubt the two powerhouses — Disney and the NBA — are coming up with the best solution for us. Obviously, there’s a little doubt in my mind; we’re all human. But I’m confident.

Allen ultimately determined his best choice was to suit up for Brooklyn this summer.

“I did question myself whether it’s worth risking my health. But at the end of the day, weighing the options, it’s better for me to go.”

The Brooklyn Nets could use some more big men

Head coach Jacque Vaughn’s rotation will be thin inside, as center DeAndre Jordan will be sitting out the resumption of the NBA season in the wake of testing positive for COVID-19. Meanwhile, fellow big man Nic Claxton is out for the season with a shoulder injury, and forward Wilson Chandler announced he will also be sitting out.

Allen feels there’s “some” pressure on him to answer the bell.

“There is some pressure. I don’t want to say I’m the last big standing, as bad as that sounds. There’s some pressure for me to be able to stay healthy and help the team succeed,” Allen said.

“I’ve been in this position before… Rookie year I was the main big playing, then last year when Ed [Davis] got hurt I had the load, and this year this happened. I just need to come out and prove I’m able to play at this level again.”

Allen is averaging 10.6 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season.

Brooklyn Nets: Get Bradley Beal at all Costs

New York Knicks, Marcus Morris

Flashback seven years ago, the newly located Brooklyn Nets are stuck as a second-tier team. Led by Deron Williams and Brook Lopez, the options are clear: make a push for a championship that mortgages the future or tear down the roster and rebuild with a stockpile of assets. On draft night in June 2013, the front office made their choice. In a trade that has haunted the franchise for the majority of the decade, the Nets acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, two pieces they hoped would catapult them into real contenders. 

After recent reports surfaced Thursday that the Nets have interest in adding star Bradley Beal to the fold, deja vu struck in the minds of many Nets fans. Just as the Nets quickly built a contender in 2012, they have done so again. As Williams and Lopez were exiting their primes, the team attempted to surround them with a desperate accumulation of talent. Durant and Irving may have already seen their best days, but that is where the similarities end. They represent a higher class of superstardom, one that can objectively compete against the most high-profile names in the league. Adding a superstar entering his prime would fuel a championship run without stripping the franchise of all future assets. 

When it comes to perfect additions for this complicated Nets roster, it doesn’t get more seamless than Beal. His immense versatility would allow him to fit in next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in a way that most stars would not be able to. 

“I can put him in any situation, and he understands it at a high level,” Wizards coach Scott Brooks said. “I can use him as a decoy, and he understands why I’m using him as a decoy. I can use him in pick and rolls and pin downs and in the post.” 

Playing with two superstars who can break down any defense would offer Beal more open three-pointers than he’s seen at any other point in his career. As a 38% three-point shooter over the course of his eight-year career, he also presents a perimeter reputation that would open up lanes for Durant and Irving to get the rim without the worry of help coming off of the shooters. With Durant coming off a major Achilles injury and Irving dealing with several maladies in previous seasons, Beal would provide necessary durability to a roster lacking in it. He hasn’t missed a game in the previous three seasons, proving to be one of the most dependable stars the league has, especially in the era of player preservation. This would afford Durant and Irving the ability to play relaxed with less of an onus on scoring, which would limit the wear and tear of a grueling NBA season as they geared up toward a run at a championship. Beal’s ability to come off screens and dribble handoffs as a scoring threat would make him a perfect partner with Deandre Jordan, a big-bodied screener who excels with playmaking guards as an explosive roll man to keep the defense honest. 

The big concern out of Brooklyn is the fragility of their two superstars, who are constantly in the headlines for the wrong reasons. It would behoove Sean Marks to add a star with a stabilizing personality to the mix. 

When asked about his relationship with Beal, Wizards co-star John Wall said “We’re just building a bond. We always joke and have fun. We play cards on the plane with each other. All that stuff equaled up to us making a better bond. We never disliked each other. There are times on the court where you are going to dislike a player. You want the ball. They want the ball”

The fight Beal displays on the court indicate a level of competitiveness that carries teams to basketball glory. A desire to win games and compete as well as capable drives the great ones. As Wall stated clearly, Beal is an excellent teammate both on and off the court. 

Parting with Caris Levert, Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen may seem like a tough ask for the Brooklyn Nets front office, but consider this: when envisioning the Nets lineup closing out games, which of these guys do you want out on the floor? Dinwiddie struggled mightily when paired with D’Angelo Russell last season and with Kyrie Irving this season. Without the ball in his hands, he provides little in the way of positive value on the court. He isn’t a particularly strong defender or spot-up shooter, making him a less than ideal fit in a closing lineup where he won’t have the ball in his hands. Levert has flashed glimpses of greatness for the entirety of his career, but injuries and an inconsistent jump shot have hindered his development. His lack of a consistent long-range shot would allow defenses to focus on Durant and Irving driving to the hoop, clogging the lane, and leaving them little opportunity to score at the rim. Allen’s inability to develop a consistent offensive game makes him a trade piece for the Nets. His benching in early March, in the first game after Kenny Atkinson was fired, was an indication about how the coaching staff and stars on the team felt about his value. Since his rookie year he has been a rim-running center who can protect the rim on defense but does not provide much else. While he is a solid big man for any rotation, this makes him expendable. At just 26 years old and now entering his prime, Beal himself would account for the lost young talent it would take to acquire him in a deal.

With Beal added to the fold, the Brooklyn Nets would become instant title favorites. Possessing three superstars in a league that is currently controlled by duos would give the Nets a considerable edge to close out games. Putting out Irving, Beal, and Durant to pair with sharpshooter Joe Harris would give the Brooklyn Nets a fearsome foursome that would compliment each other’s skillsets perfectly. Beal would add overwhelming talent for a Nets team that is looking to win their first NBA championship while leading the franchise for years to come. If the Wizards make Bradley Beal available in trade discussions, the Nets should engage immediately, no matter the cost.

Brooklyn Nets: Jarrett Allen Isn’t Clutch

Brooklyn Nets, Jarrett Allen

BROOKLYN NETS – Let me start of by saying I love The Fro. He’s come a long way since we drafted him and I appreciate what he does on the floor. The rebounds, the screens, the blocks. Let me tell you about the blocks. He had FIVE of them in the home opener loss to the Timberwolves. “One, two, three, four, FIF” to quote the great Dave Chappelle. And with all the great things he does, I can promise you I’ve never once said, “I need Jarrett Allen with the ball in his hand in the closing moment”. It’s just not something I want to see and this is the second time I can remember seeing it.

The first was in the playoffs against the 76ers. I believe it was Game 4. D’Angelo Russell had been our closer all year. He had hit a big three not to long before the moment in question. Russell got a pick from Allen, Allen rolled and Russell passed. Allen got the ball a little below the free throw line. He was mauled and lost his balance as well as the ball. Soon after we’d lose the game. I’m not here to argue whether or not it was a bad no-call by the refs. The game is long gone in our rearview mirror and the league’s Two Minute Report already admitted it should’ve been called a foul. It was the good “basketball play” to make, but for me it wasn’t a good play.

My uncle always told me, “You have to know your personnel”. So understanding my team and its players, I know Jarrett Allen isn’t really used to being in that situation. That’s strike one against him. He isn’t the strongest big. That’s strike two. He doesn’t really have a good handle and can be a little clumsy, yet got the ball around the free throw line. That’s either two steps immediately or at least a dribble. Strike three. And although he is a solid free throw shooter for a big, he is by no means a great one (keep this in mind). This is not the ideal situation for The Fro to succeed.

Fast forward to today, we’re in a similar situation. Kyrie has been carrying us all game. Countless big shots, he had 13pts in the fourth quarter. Then on a drive he sneaks a pass in to Jarrett Allen who gets fouled. Now we’re relying on Jarrett Allen to make two free throws at the line for the win. He only needs to hit one. His rookie year, Jarrett Allen shot 78% from the charity stripe. Last year, he shot 71%. Yesterday, in the clutch (so two free throw attempts) and in the game in general (four free throws total), Jarrett Allen shot 0%. I know these are rare occurrences, but we cannot allow ourselves to be at the mercy of Jarrett Allen on the offensive end of a close game. That being said, the free throw critique does not stop at Jarrett Allen. The team as a whole shot a tick under 58% from the stripe. That cannot happen. Ever! Five of the seven players to attempt free throws shot 50% or below. The Brooklyn Nets were 24th in free throw percentage last season at 74.5% and that needs to change for the better sooner rather than later.

Brooklyn Nets: Deandre Jordan Can Be a Mentor to Jarrett Allen

DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets

Questions lingered when Deandre Jordan signed with the Brooklyn Nets, mainly the thought of how would he fit alongside Jarrett Allen who boasts a similar play style. If anything, Jordan can help mentor Jarrett Allen.

The NBA regular season is a little under a month away, and training camp is coming even sooner for teams such as the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets, capping off a successful rebuild with an offseason that saw them sign two of the biggest free agents on the market, have plenty of expectations and questions for the upcoming season.

Many of those are obvious: Will Kevin Durant push himself to return this season? In his absence, can Kyrie Irving fulfill his role as a leader? Where exactly should we expect Brooklyn to finish, record-wise this season?

All justified questions, but many of those revolve around just two of three significant free-agent signings for the Nets this summer. Don’t forget that Brooklyn also signed Deandre Jordan, a player whose skill set and position mirror closely to the younger Jarrett Allen already on the roster.

Count Jarrett Allen alongside the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie and Caris Lavert as the players that make up a promising young core for Brooklyn. For Allen in particular, he displayed a knack for defending the rim and showed promising defensive potential, but was clearly outplayed by Joel Embiid in the first round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs.

Allen was simply smaller and Embiid had more strength, which makes the signing of Deandre Jordan a logical choice. But will Jordan’s arrival, and presumably his transition to the starting lineup, stunt Allen’s development?

Some might assume, but it doesn’t have to. Deandre Jordan is 31 years old, and Jarrett Allen is 21. That’s a ten-year difference, and despite the Nets’ title window being fast-forwarded to the present, Allen is still the future. Brooklyn does not just want to win now, they want to stay competitive in the future as well.

That means properly developing the young players on the roster now, and that includes Jarrett Allen. In this way, Deandre Jordan won’t only be a fixture to contend for a title in the short-term, but he can be a mentor for Allen, showing him how to develop his game for the future. Imagine Jordan helping Allen get stronger in the weight room, or how to properly defend elite big men like Joel Embiid inside the paint.

That is what the Nets and GM Sean Marks envisioned when they signed Deandre Jordan. If you don’t believe that, then hear it from the man himself when he spoke to the media on Tuesday:

“Where can his game go? I’d never limit him. But then also how can he develop some of our young guys. You mention Jarrett. For Jarrett to be battling him day in and day out and DJ sharing some of that knowledge he’s learned, that’s terrific when you can do that.”

Sounds like Jordan has a larger and more significant role to play than just for contending for a title in June. He’s an experienced vet and brings a good amount of knowledge and experience that can help this young Nets team. For Allen in particular, he should benefit from that knowledge, and it should make him a better fixture in Brooklyn not just now, but into the future.