Brooklyn Nets: 3 things to watch in 2nd trip to Washington

Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets D'Angelo Russell. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets
Brooklyn Nets Jarrett Allen. (Photo by Will Newton/Getty Images) /

3. Allen catches a break, can he respond with a big game?

Jarrett Allen just finished a brutal four-game stretch during which he played against centers who were or had been All-Stars and held his own, averaging 14.5 points and 9.0 rebounds in 32.4 minutes per game on 66.7 percent shooting during that stretch.

He was slated to meet former All-Star Dwight Howard for the second time this season Saturday night, but with Howard now out for the next two to three months after back surgery, the Wizards on Friday night started second-year big man Thomas Bryant at center.

Bryant has started six games this season in Howard’s place and is averaging 4.9 points and 2.9 rebounds in just 10.8 minutes per game on .585/1-for-10/10-for-12 shooting.

As a starter, his numbers are marginally better — 5.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in 16.4 minutes a night on .625/1-fot-6/3-for-4 shooting.

Friday against the Philadelphia 76ers, Bryant played 19 minutes and finished with 12 points and seven rebounds, going 5-for-7 from the floor and missing his lone 3-point attempt in the Wizards’ 123-98 loss.

Most of the center minutes Friday went to veteran Markieff Morris, an undersized player at the 5 who has spent most of the last few seasons as a stretch 4. Morris had just two points on 1-of-10 shooting and missed all five of his 3-point attempts while getting seven rebounds.

The Wizards also dusted off Ian Mahinmi for the first time in six games, as the veteran played 10 minutes with two points.

Allen is still considered raw by NBA starting-center standards at age 20 with 54 career starts. Bryant, by that measure, may then still be on the hoof.  He has played in 27 games and made six starts in his career after making 15 reserve appearances with the Los Angeles Lakers last season.

The Lakers cut Bryant on July 2 as part of their cap-clearing spree to make room for the contract of unrestricted free agent LeBron James.

On paper, it would look like Allen could be in line for a big game as he comes in off a career-high matching three-game streak of double-doubles against All-Star caliber competition.

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He went for 15 points and 12 boards in 39 minutes against Memphis on Friday and has double-doubled nine times in 21 games this season after posting just four in 72 appearances as a rookie.