Back in December after a win against the Washington Wizards, in which Nets rookie Jarrett Allen finished with 10 points & 6 rebounds, we spoke about players in the league he models his game after. The first name that came up was Rockets big man Clint Capela. On Tuesday night in Brooklyn, Allen got the chance to measure his game against one of the games elite bigs. The Nets lost 123-113, because the Rockets are better and a title contender. But, they competed, and Allen and the team can take away some positives.
Allen finished with 16 points & 2 rebounds in 23 minutes of action and was a +8. Not bad. There were obviously moments where Capela, (18 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks) got the better of Allen. He has the superior footwork and a better game, plus he plays with arguably the best backcourt in the league. Allen held his own and had a couple nice plays down in the post.
In many ways, the Rockets are what the Nets envision their team to be. Head coach Kenny Atkinson and GM Sean Marks have built an outstanding culture, and in terms of playing style, they rank in the top 3 in the NBA with three-pointers attempted and made. They space the floor and look for easy shots at the rim. It’s almost exactly the way the Rockets play. The major difference, of course, being personnel. The Rockets have MVP front-runner James Harden, the “Point God” Chris Paul, Capela, and Eric Gordon. The Nets just don’t have the arsenal to match up with them. Nevertheless, it was a game that showed what the Nets could be once they determine who are the right players to build around.
Prior to the game, Kenny Atkinson talked about how much they ask of Allen, who has said he wants to be the “face” of the franchise.
Kenny Atkinson on Jarrett Allen
You can tell Atkinson really likes Allen. He believes the rookie can handle most anything that gets thrown at him and sees him developing into a combination of Clint Capela and Rudy Gobert. Safe to say, Allen is for sure a big part of the Nets future. If he can approximate those lofty projections, something really good will happen in Brooklyn.
But, before we get ahead of ourselves, Allen is still a rookie and a lot of development needs to occur. He does appear to have the right temperament for being a star in this league. He doesn’t get too high or too low. He competes, has a great motor and is extremely intelligent. While he is motivated to be the best every night, he knows that games like last night are important for his development. Before the game, we spoke about playing Clint Capela and being the “face” of the Nets.
Jarrett Allen pregame
The trade deadline is coming up on Thursday and Brooklyn has already been active, sending Tyler Zeller to the Bucks for Rashad Vaughn, and a 2nd round pick. The Nets are currently nine games out of the last playoff spot, so making a run is not likely. It will be interesting to see what Marks does in the next couple days. It’s clear that they have a vision for their future and that Allen is a key piece, along with D’Angelo Russell, who is working his way back after an injury. Despite their record, things are looking up in Brooklyn.