Shabazz Napier didn’t have a bad night overall — save for losing focus and missing two free throws after arguing he should have gotten three — but he was in a small group on that front.
Napier did some of his in-the-lane acrobatics, knocked down some looks from the perimeter and played pesky defense. Those are the hallmarks of his game and he did them in the way we’ve come to expect.
He’s back in the rotation to stay — for now, as under coach Kenny Atkinson these things can be fluid — and has played well after going much of December on the pine.
Jarrett Allen picked up a couple of blocks and was extremely active on the glass, but with Toronto playing such aggressive defense on the perimeter and sliding interior help to the strong side, the roll lanes were hard to find.
The last three games have seen a significant shift in how opponents are defending the Nets and it may be time for Brooklyn to adjust their strategy a bit. Teams are selling out on the ball screens, blitzing the ball handler while also helping against the roll man.
Maybe Allen could look to pop more often and look for the short jumper that he’s capable of knocking down and the handler on the pick-and-roll also needs to be more quick and decisive with getting the ball out. Doing so would help Allen become more involved at the offensive end again.