The Brooklyn Nets were blown out in Montreal Wednesday night by the Toronto Raptors, but second-year center Jarrett Allen had a mostly terrific night.
Wednesday night was mostly one to forget for the Brooklyn Nets and their fans, particularly after a second half in which the Nets turned the ball over 22 times in a 118-91 loss to the Toronto Raptors at Bell Centre in Montreal.
But even the darkest nights have their bright moments and on Wednesday that bright spot was second-year center Jarrett Allen.
After a rough start to the preseason against the New York Knicks, Allen has responded with back-to-back solid efforts.
On Wednesday, Allen led the Nets with 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including canning a corner 3 early in the second half to provide Brooklyn with its lone highlight in the final two quarters when the game was still competitive, and was 7-for-8 at the foul line.
In 26 minutes, Allen had four rebounds, an assist, two steals and a blocked shot, though he did turn the ball over three times (but, hey, didn’t everyone in a white jersey?).
He was one of only two Nets — Joe Harris being the other — who finished with a positive plus/minus number, notching a plus-2.
When your team loses by 27 points, that’s something.
There is a lot of excitement about Allen, who had 17 points, nine boards and four blocks against the Detroit Pistons on Monday.
The 3-point shot in the corner is something Allen tried to add to his repertoire this offseason, along with adding some bulk to his 6-foot-10 frame.
It’s hard to blame Allen for the Nets’ problems defending the 3-point line (Toronto was 16-for-36, 44.4 percent, on the night). For most of the night, he was the best player Brooklyn had on the floor.
On offense, he was active setting picks and running to the rim. Defensively, he was active, even as he spent much of his time chasing Serge Ibaka around on the perimeter, which is not where Allen is accustomed to being on patrol.
In three preseason games, Allen is averaging 15.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game in 25.7 minutes per game on 56.7 percent shooting (1-for-2 from deep) and is 10-for-14 at the foul line.
Yes, it’s the preseason. But those numbers are much improved over last season’s 8.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 20.0 minutes.
The Nets got Allen with the 22nd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and with how he’s looked for the last two games, as well as what he did as a rookie, it’s looking more and more like general manager Sean Marks pulled off a major steal.