Jarrett Allen was impressive early Wednesday night, blocking a pair of shots emphatically in the game’s first three minutes.
But the kid struggled mightily against Knicks center Enes Kanter, who went for a 20-20 night with 22 points and 20 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass.
Much of that damage was inflicted upon Allen, who seemed unable to properly box out Kanter to seal him off the glass, instead doing what so many young guys like to do — turn and leap.
That left Allen standing straight up and down too often and Kanter — one of the top offensive rebounders in the NBA — feasted upon those opportunities to move around and through the 20-year-old.
Allen did throw down a couple of powerful dunks, but otherwise his offensive game was tentative. Rather than going up confidently, Allen seemed to be trying to wish the ball into the basket on anything he shot away from the rim.
But those blocks were beautful.
That is the sort of rim protection that will allow Brooklyn’s perimeter defenders to be a lot more aggressive and on that count, Allen showed capable.
There is a lot to love about Allen’s potential, but whether or not the Nets can take another step on the road to rebuilding has a lot to do with Allen figuring out how to seal off the backboard on the defensive end.