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Nets Notes: Jarrett Allen Continues Crashing Offensive Boards

Center among league's best in offensive rebounds and second-chance points

There was one last thing for Jarrett Allen on Wednesday night: a postgame celebration with fellow center DeAndre Jordan climbing on his back.

“You see me battling down there for the boards. I can handle DeAndre,” said Allen. “He’s been great. He’s been cheering me on every step of the way since he got here. He’s been teaching me post moves, teaching me how to guard post, teaching me little things on the offensive end and the defensive end. So, just having him, he has my back, he’s been teaching me stuff. He’s been a great teammate.”

In his fourth season, the 22-year-old center has jumped out to a big start, continuing the steady elevation of his game since the Nets drafted him 22nd overall in 2017. His 13 rebounds in the 145-141 win over the Hawks were his third game in a row with at least that many, and he grabbed five offensive rebounds for the third time in his last four games. He also had 15 points for his first double-double of the season.

“JA was outstanding,” said Nets head coach Steve Nash after the game. “Again, you know, his mobility and athleticism. He's able to do a lot of things so you know, he was a force for us out there.”

It’s a continuation of the standout play Allen exhibited on the NBA Campus in Orlando last summer after the league resumed play, as he averaged 13.7 points and 14.0 rebounds over 10 regular season and playoff games.

“It’s just going out there and just doing it,” said Allen. “I feel like sometimes I think too much about what I’m doing wrong and what I’m doing right. But these last couple in the bubble and the last couple games, I’m just going out there and having fun. I think that’s the main thing. When you’re out there enjoying yourself, that’s when you play your best.”

Allen finished last season averaging career highs of 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 offensive rebounds, and through Brooklyn’s first five games this season, he’s averaging 12.0 rebounds, sixth in the league, and 4.4 offensive rebounds, first in the NBA. He’s playing 22.6 minutes per game, so his per 36 rebounding rate of 19.1 is also the best in the league.

With his aggressiveness attacking the offensive boards, Allen is averaging 4.6 second-chance points, a top 10 number in the league that accounts for nearly half of his 9.6 points per game scoring average. It also makes up a third of the 13.8 second-chance points Brooklyn is scoring per game.

“The offensive end, it's just, it's really valuable,” said Nash. “You know we have such so many scoring options that when we get extra possessions it makes us I think even more difficult to contend with. But Jarrett’s been outstanding. So, really proud of his play, how he’s handled coming off the bench. He’s playing the most minutes generally I think at the center position, and he’s earned those. He’s a dynamic player in that position and he helps us in many ways.”

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