Nets’ Jarrett Allen beginning to take next step forward

Simply earlier than the pandemic put the NBA season on pause, the Nets took Jarrett Allen out of the lineup. And when play restarted, they challenged him to assist carry the workforce.

Apparently the younger heart has taken each to coronary heart. Friday, Allen took it out on the Kings with a whole efficiency, flirting with a triple-double. He had 17 factors, 11 rebounds and a career-high eight assists, the primary heart with these numbers in Nets historical past.

“He was a drive and intensely unselfish. He’s studying how one can proceed to play together with his teammates, what’s obtainable, and simply the instincts are sinking in. It’s good to see,” interim coach Jacque Vaughn mentioned after the Nets’ 119-106 playoff-clinching win.

“There’s a aggressive spirit, a pleasure about him that he’s enjoying with, but in addition an aggressiveness. You see him battling for rebounds outdoors for his space. I believe he’s having fun with that. He’s been impactful for our group, and on each ends of the ground. He sees the work that he put in and it’s beginning to come to fruition.”

Jarrett Allen battles for a rebound with the Kings' Alex Len during the Nets' 119-106 playoff-clinching win on Friday night.
Jarrett Allen battles for a rebound with the Kings’ Alex Len through the Nets’ 119-106 playoff-clinching win on Friday evening.Getty Pictures

Whereas the departed Kenny Atkinson had been a staunch supporter, Vaughn’s first act as interim coach on March eight had been to interchange Allen with DeAndre Jordan, who arrived as a bundle take care of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving.

“It’s a little motivation. I like my position as a starter,” mentioned Allen, who was a game-high plus-24 Friday. “I do know issues don’t at all times go that manner within the NBA, however I’m going to maintain attempting to play to point out everyone within the NBA that I should be a starter.”

Allen has at all times been an important rim runner, however now he’s studying to flash to the ball and assist the guards after they’re getting pressured. And his passing out of the excessive publish helped the Nets choose the Kings aside with 30 assists.

“He’s been large all season, particularly since we’ve been within the bubble. We challenged him within the practices early. We knew he needed to be nice for us to be the place we’re proper now. He’s actually stepped as much as that problem,” Caris LeVert mentioned. “He’s going to be top-of-the-line bigs on this league for a extremely very long time.”

Allen checked out with 3:02 left and two assists shy of a triple-double.

“I used to be attempting to remain in. I used to be attempting to get [Vaughn] to name a play the place I deal with the ball on the prime and attempt to hit any individual backdoor,” Allen mentioned. “So it was simply working. Everyone was hitting photographs. I used to be seeing the backdoor man. I hit Caris a pair instances, me and Joe [Harris] had a very good connection. Actually, all the things was simply falling in my place.”

Chris Chiozza tied his career-highs with 14 factors and 6 boards, ending a plus-24. … Tyler Johnson had a season-high-tying 14 factors. … Harris went 5 of seven from 3, and is at 56 p.c within the restart.

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