Jarrett Allen had a strong Summer League debut Monday for the Brooklyn Nets. He also discussed his goals for the rest of the summer and the upcoming season.
After missing all of last summer due to injury, he was happy to be back on the court, per Newsday:
"It was literally my first Summer League game. I came back, and it was a good comeback."
A good comeback indeed, as Allen posted eight points and 12 rebounds, as well as five blocks, in 26 minutes.
Allen also discussed his goal to become more of a leader on the summer league squad, which he admitted is tougher to do from the bench.
"The leaders are the ones that go to war with your guys. To finally get in there and be in there with them, I finally get to show them I’m here with you guys and I’m in the battle with you.I think I can keep leading the guys and showing them the right things to do and trying to turn them into pros. On the court, I think I can add a lot to the defensive end, and you saw that tonight."
Allen certainly showed his potential down the stretch last season, and will look to use that momentum. As a starter for the Nets he averaged 10.5 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and shot over 62 percent from the field. He also led all NBA rookies in blocks.
While his play on the court opened eyes, he wasn’t very vocal and at just 19 years old, rightfully so. So far this summer, teammate Caris LeVert and assistant coach Jacque Vaughn have taken notice of the recent change. Vaughn discussed the maturation.
"It’s been great to see. Whether it is being the first guy in the trainer’s room, whether it’s being the last guy out getting treatment, the professionalism that came with having a year under his belt, whether it’s pulling a guy aside and saying, “This is the correct spacing offensively.” We’ve seen all of that these few days."
The Nets bought out the final year Dwight Howard‘s contract, despite not having amazing depth at center. That was a huge vote of confidence for Allen, who is primed for the lion’s share of the playing time.
Based off the end of last season and what we’ve seen so far this summer, there’s no reason to think he won’t run with it.