The Brooklyn Nets’ offensive ineptitude on Monday night may have prevented 2nd-year center Jarrett Allen from having a very special game.
This one was definitely not on Jarrett Allen. The Brooklyn Nets‘ young center put up a strong showing in a blowout loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Monday night, a performance that could have been better had the offense been playing with any sort of cohesion.
Allen played just 24 minutes in Brooklyn’s 113-94 loss to the Bucks, but finished with eight points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots.
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On a night when the Nets shot just 32.4 percent, Allen was 4-for-7 from the floor and could have benefited from getting more looks.
He was aggressive when he got the ball, dunking over superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo on one possession, dunking a putback and taking the ball strong at Milwaukee center Brook Lopez and out-muscling the veteran for a layup.
But he only got seven shots, in part because the Nets were just so disjointed offensively.
The night was full of quick shots, hurried shots, contested shots and short on ball movement and waiting for cutters and rollers to make their moves.
It was as if the wings and guards for Brooklyn were already so freaked out by the length of the Bucks’ defenders that they felt the need to hurry everything.
Allen was open on roll opportunities, but the ball-handlers coming off the screens set by Allen simply weren’t looking his way.
Lopez was playing close to the rim, leaving lanes for Allen to get the ball and make a move, such as Allen did with his layup in the second half. But he just didn’t get enough opportunities.
Brooklyn’s offense is predicated on spacing, ball movement and off-ball actions such as cuts, dives and rolls.
When the Nets shoot as poorly as they did Monday night, the first thing to go is the spacing. After that, the ball movement gets out of whack because the floor gets unbalanced and clustered.
That, in turn, eliminates or curtails the ability to find cutters and rollers, because of the amount of congestion.
When the Nets had opportunities to keep the floor spaced by using Allen early, they ignored him too often, settling for contested jumpers and firing up shots early in the clock without ever really getting into a set.
Firing up 41 3-pointers on a night when you make just five is bad basketball. The Nets look for the 3-pointer and it is a staple of their offense, but players have to understand that there are nights when that shot is just not falling.
Rather than continuing to fire brick after brick, faking the attempt and trying to do something a little closer to the rim would have been a better option.
I get the math — three is greater than two. But two is still far greater than zero in the basketball scheme of things. Maybe doing something crazy like leaning on the big to help steady the offense could have helped on a night when the jumpers just were not going down.