Team USA scrimmaged Friday night with the Senior National Team (Blue) playing against the Select Team (White). The bout featured two Brooklyn Nets teammates pinned against each other; Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen.
Joe Harris and Jarrett Allen are both integral pieces for what surely will be a very intriguing season for the Brooklyn Nets next year; but for now, let’s enjoy seeing “The Fro” go toe-to-toe with “Joey Buckets”, shall we?
Surprising to nearly no one, the boys in blue jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning the contest 97-78. It was going to be challenging, to say the least, for Jarrett Allen (Team White) to shine in the circumstances provided.
Jarrett Allen was exceptional as the roll man in pick and roll sets this past season, often playing the part as the beneficiary of a well-executed pocket pass from D’Angelo Russell or Spencer Dinwiddie in those looks—whom he has chemistry with. If you watched even the first quarter of this scrimmage, you saw that Derrick White and Allen didn’t have that same level of chemistry.
At this point in his career, most of Allen’s offense can be attributed to open dunks/layups and those looks are often generated from running the pick and roll, but that just wasn’t there Friday night. He looked good giving Brook Lopez a baby hook in the low block but appeared the opposite when he hoisted an open perimeter jump shot, which hit the backboard then proceeded to clank off the rim.
Team White’s defense, in general, was, well, sluggish, so depicting Allen’s defensive efforts as individually poor isn’t exactly fair, but it wasn’t like he was a rim-protecting extraordinaire Friday night, either. He finished the game with 5 points and 2 rebounds on 1/4 shooting from the field in the 19 minutes and 51 seconds of action he saw.
Despite the team’s lackluster effort, Allen will survive to see another day.
Now, let’s get to Joe Harris, who was recently promoted from the Select Team to the Senior National Team namely due to his three-point shooting. The importance of spreading the floor with this roster will be key, and might just get Joey Buckets a spot representing his country.
His first field-goal of the contest unsurprisingly came via the three-point line; as Nets fans are more than aware, Harris is adept at moving without the basketball. He used a Mason Plumlee off-ball elbow screen to curl up beyond the perimeter and knock down the long ball.
Given the fact that Team USA—despite multiple rejections from NBA superstars to participate—will have an abundance of playmakers on their roster, Harris’ off-ball movement and ability to free himself up with a combination of his shooting gravity is very appealing.
Harris returning is a welcome sign to Nets faithful, the prospect of him representing Team USA at the FIBA Basketball World Cup is still alive; but for Allen, the chances aren’t in favor.