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 sign Justin Anderson

Brooklyn Nets, Justin Anderson

Wilson Chandler’s one-way ticket to Walt Disney World has been transferred. According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Brooklyn Nets have signed Justin Anderson.

This move comes on the heels of Chandler, who appeared in 35 games this season, telling the Nets that he won’t be present when the 2019-20 NBA regular season resumes in late-July. Chandler was averaging 5.9 points and 4.1 rebounds per game.

Anderson appeared in three games for the Nets this season, playing on a 10-day contract. Across those games he averaged 5.7 minutes per contest. Anderson also played for the team’s G-League affiliate, the Long Island Nets.

Across 16 games, 14 of which he started, Anderson averaged 20.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game while shooting 47.8 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Anderson spent time with the Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers and Atlanta Hawks. He was selected by the Mavericks with the 21st pick in the 2015 NBA Draft out of Virginia. The forward is averaging 5.3 points and 2.5 rebounds per game for his career.

The Nets recently waived guard Theo Pinson. He appeared in 51 games for the Nets over the last two seasons after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent in 2018. Brooklyn subsequently signed guard Tyler Johnson. Johnson previously appeared in 31 games for the Phoenix Suns this season, averaging 5.7 points per game.

The Nets (30-34) are the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, eight and a half games behind the sixth-seeded Philadelphia 76ers, a half-game ahead of the eighth-seeded Orlando Magic and six games ahead of the ninth-seeded Washington Wizards.

Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving aren’t expected to make the trip to Florida. Durant, recovering from a torn Achilles tendon, recently said on the “Dawg Talk” podcast that he wouldn’t play if he were healthy.

“I feel, me right now, I probably wouldn’t have played because the unknown going into that situation looks crazy right now, seeing so many new cases. It’s just so unpredictable. It’s easy for me to say right now because I’m injured, but I probably wouldn’t have went down there [to Orlando].”

Brooklyn Nets: Who Gets the Most Time at the Power Forward Position?

Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets

One of the most scrutinized positions for the Brooklyn Nets over the past few years has been the power forward. The players that have been legitimate power forwards over the years are few and far in between. This year it doesn’t seem we’ll be straying from that status quo. So the question becomes which players get time at the four.

When Kevin Durant returns I think we can expect him at the power forward position. Increasingly so. Coming off a major injury, most assume his defense in one of the aspects of his game that will take a hit. With this in mind, it makes sense to have him guard power forwards where he has to do less work as far as running around and chasing them on the perimeter. He’ll have to deal with being a post up or contesting stretch bigs, but it’s less likely that he’ll have to chase anyone and that should be less strain on his Achilles. This would be a great way to kind of hide any weaknesses he may still have upon his return. Durant has also played the four a lot in his career. As a pretty solid rim protector, the move to spend more time at the power forward will be nothing new to him.

Rodions Kurucs coming into his sophomore year will probably play a whole lot of power forward. During his rookie season, the move to the four is what really brought Kurucs to life and the team had lots of success with it. Although slight of frame, Kurucs was tough for a rook. He did a decent enough job defending the position. He has a solid handle where that, although out of control at times, he can take bigs off the dribble to attack the rim. He also shot the ball from distance well enough to be a decent enough threat to stretch the floor. Look to see Rodions Kurucs spend more time at power forward and really show growth from there.

The Brooklyn Nets new rookie Nicholas Claxton is another option at the four. He’s probably the closest thing to a natural power forward on this roster. At 6’11” with about a 7’3″ wingspan, Claxton has all the tools to be a good defender. That height and wingspan will be great as weapons towards protecting the rim. Claxton is a mobile big, allowing him to defend perimeter players for stretches if he is ever switched on to them. In college, Claxton has shown the potential to be a stretch big so time under Kenny Atkinson will probably do wonders for him. And let’s not forget that Claxton used to be a guard, much like Anthony Davis. He’ll be able to take bigs off the dribble a little and possibly lead breaks in some respect.

Wilson Chandler can and has played a lot of power forward in his time in the NBA. Especially towards his twilight years. As an elder statesmen, he’ll probably be better served as a four on defense. Chandler has solid strength to handle any banging in the post and can help stretch the floor as well.

Lastly, I give you the option of Taurean Prince. Excluding KD, he is easily the best shooter on this list of players. Shooting over 37% from 3 in his last two years, Prince will be a deadly floor stretcher. He’ll make defenses pay for trying to crowd the paint and create plenty of room for players such as Kyrie Irving. Just like many of his new teammates who will share responsibilities at the four, Prince can take slower bigs off the dribble. With a near 7ft wingspan, Prince could be pestering on the defensive end. I see a lot of analyst pegging Prince as our starting power forward. While KD is out, it’ll definitely be between him and Kurucs. The biggest concern with this rotation is the question of rebounding? Will we be ok with these guys on the boards. None of them are exactly known as great rebounders and that’s one of the areas the Nets suffered last year. Big teams like the 76ers crushed us on the boards. Those extra shots (and lack thereof) make it extremely hard to win games against tough matchups.