Brooklyn Nets 2017-2018 Player Grade: Jarrett Allen

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Timofey Mozgov
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 11: Timofey Mozgov /

Jarrett Allen proved to the Brooklyn Nets and their fans that he is the big man of the future and a draft steal. The big man deserves a B grade for his rookie season.

Jarrett Allen had a great rookie campaign for the Brooklyn Nets this past season. The 6’11 center not only surpassed expectations; he also earned himself the starting center position in just his 42nd NBA game.

After being selected with the 22nd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, Allen was expected to spend some time in the G League to develop into an NBA ready player.

The rookie big man did not get sent to the G League however, in part due to Timofey Mozgov’s conditioning concerns. Mozgov spend a majority of the off-season playing for his native country of Russia in the EuroBasket 2017 Tournament.

In the Nets season opener, Allen sat the bench watching his team lose a nail biter to the Indiana Pacers. Throughout the game, Mozgov showed conditioning concerns leading Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson to sub Allen in the second game.

In Allen’s second game, he played well. The big man shot a perfect three-for-three from the field, recording one block and a steal in 15 minutes of play

The rookie big man continued to see playing time for the remainder of October before being benched eight straight games and seeing limited minutes to close out 2017.

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The center position for Brooklyn was very crowded during the first half of the season. Coach Atkinson experimented and rotated many players at the position. Due to this experimenting of centers, Allen ended up on the short end of the stick and got the fewest minutes out of the group.

In the second half of the season however, Allen began to make himself a household name for the Nets. Nicknamed the “Fro-down” due to his powerful slam dunks and his hairstyle, Allen became a fan favorite in Brooklyn.

Throughout the second half of the season, Allen not only developed into a good NBA center but played a key role on both ends of the floor.

The defensive end of the floor is where Allen flourished. He played a huge role on defense while defending the paint with authority. Opposing teams commonly targeted Brooklyn’s front-court for easy points throughout the year. Allen made sure those teams did not have an easy path to the basket.

The “Fro-Down” would often put on block clinics and swat players’ shots into the stands or outside the three-point line.

The rookie would also force opposing big men to put up contested shots or pass the ball back outside the paint.

The Nets rookie is arguably one of the best defensive players selected in the first round of the 2017 NBA Draft. He led all rookies in blocked shots with 88 and averaged 1.2 blocks per game.

On the offensive end, Allen produced well for a rookie center. Brooklyn ran a small ball offense throughout the season. Centers can have trouble running a small ball offense due to lack of possession but Allen adjusted very well. He knew his role and what he could confidently do.

The big man would avoid shooting any mid-range shot outside of the paint. Instead, Allen would primarily attack the basket with thunderous dunks and baby hook shots.

The “Fro-Down” made major headlines and blew up social media in February when he threw down a thunderous poster on Chicago Bulls rookie Lauri Markkanen. That throw down was arguably the greatest poster of the 2017-2018 NBA season.

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In order to expand and develop his game, Allen must work on his mid-range shooting. If he can confidently shoot mid-range shots above 35 percent, he can become a major threat on the offensive end.

Overall, the Brooklyn Nets rookie had an impressive season. As a starter he averaged 10.5 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 31 games. He also shot over 80 percent from the free throw line during that stretch. His play on both ends of the floor is what the Nets needed out of a center, especially on defense. With all of that taken into consideration, Allen earned a B grade for the 2017-2018 season.

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