Brooklyn Nets: 3 things to watch in lone trip to Phoenix

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Brooklyn Nets
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1. Allen to battle another young (very) big

Jarrett Allen of the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday successfully held his own against All-Star center Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, despite giving up a significant amount of size in the matchup.

Allen is listed at 6-foot-10 and 234 pounds and battled toe-to-toe with the 7-foot, 260-pound Embiid in the Nets’ blowout win, holding Embiid to just 16 points and eight field-goal attempts. Embiid had been scorching hot coming in, with 110 points in his previous three games.

The matchup doesn’t get smaller for Allen when the Nets play the Phoenix Suns Tuesday night, as he will face off with No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton, all 7-foot-1 and 250 pounds of him.

Ayton was thrust directly into the fire by the Suns, as he’s started all nine games for them thus far. He’s averaging 16.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 32.1 minutes per game while shooting .630/—/.750.

Defensively, Ayton is as advertised — very much a work in progress. Opponents are shooting 71.1 percent against him in the restricted area and teams have not been shy about taking it to the 20-year-old kid, as he’s already seen 201 attempts at the rim against him.

That bodes well for Allen, who is terrific as a roll man off the pick-and-roll and has added some nifty footwork on the low block to spring himself for open looks at the rim.