Brooklyn Nets 2018-19 Primer: Jarrett Allen offseason focus has been shooting

Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen had a strong finish after earning the starting job in his rookie year and his offseason has been spent on his shooting.

Jarrett Allen was a pleasant surprise as a rookie for the Brooklyn Nets last season, rising from the 22nd overall slot in the NBA Draft to take over the starting job at center for the Nets to close out the season.

On the season, Allen averaged 8.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.0 minutes per game, shooting .589/5-for-15/.776.

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Starting the final 31 games he played, Allen’s numbers improved to 10.5 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks in 23.8 minutes, shooting .621/2-for-8/.805.

His total of 88 blocked shots was the top among rookies last season and Allen is being looked at as a potential cornerstone piece in the Brooklyn rebuild.

Allen played in two of Brooklyn’s five games in July during the Las Vegas Summer League, dominating the glass with 23 boards, scoring 21 points and blocking six shots. He was 9-for-16 from the floor, hit his lone 3-point attempt and made both free throws he shot.

And this summer for Allen has been about two things — building strength and increasing his shooting range.

That’s right. The player who shot 15 times from deep in 70 games last season has been firing up 3s at a tremendous rate this summer.

At a late August charity event, Allen told Nets Daily about his offseason workout plan.

"“I’ve been working in the gym a lot. Trying to improve on my decision making. Then obviously shooting. You’ve got to work on shooting nowadays.“… I would say I’m shooting at least 50 (3s) a day. Almost 100."

The Nets under Kenny Atkinson have adopted a pace-and-space offensive system that puts a premium on shooting and spreading the floor. Allen understands that the 3-point line is not just for wings anymore.

"“I want to get better at it. In the new NBA you have to be able to shoot. That’s really how the league is going right now, so I need to adapt to the new age. I grew up watching back-to-the-basket. Now I’ve got to catch up with everything.”"

Allen is still just 20 years old and the Austin, Texas, native showed last season he has a very high ceiling. He’s got solid size at 6-foot-10 and 234 pounds and as he learns footwork and positioning, he should become an effective rebounder and defender at the NBA level.

Anything he can do to improve his individual offensive skills, such as knowing where to go with the ball as a passer and stretching his shooting range to draw a big defender out of the paint and open driving lanes for slashers such as D’Angelo Russell and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.

Allen will have an effective backup presence this season in Ed Davis, who is also a veteran NBA big who can pass along some of those lessons he’s learned to the young starter.

In his favor is that as a rookie, he already showed he knew how to stay out of foul difficulties, as he averaged 3.7 fouls per 36 minutes, which is relatively good for a rookie big man.

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Expectations for Allen this season would be to average double-figures in scoring, improve his board work and decision making with the ball and, of course, show off that new shooting range.