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Jarrett Allen impresses with big debut

NBA: Orlando Magic at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Jarrett Allen went into Friday night with zero assurance that he would get any playing time.

“They said it’s a possibility and just in case, be ready.”

At 19-years and 182 days, Jarrett Allen is the second youngest Net to log minutes in a game. Only Derrick Favors was younger.

He made his debut Friday night after sitting out the first game, and stood out with nine points, two rebounds, one steal and a blocked shot in 15 minutes. His length (7’5” wingspan) was an issue inside for Orlando. He came in and made an immediate impact, particularly with running the pick-and-roll to near perfection.

“It is,” Allen laughed when asked if the pick-and-roll will be a strength for him. “If I can give a good pick and then ‘DLo’ is handling the ball then a lot can happen off that.”

The two connected on a pick and roll that was picturesque.

“It felt good, I didn’t get to play the first game and I’m itching to get in,” Allen said of his debut. “Then coach finally called my name and I just had to go out there and put everything I could into it.

“When you get called off the bench your world gets flipped upside down because you’re chilling on the side, so once you get back into the game the flow of it is fine.”

His entire world flipped upside and Brooklyn’s game flipped around with his help. He provided a spark on both ends. In fact, his play got the Brooklyn crowd off its feet in the middle of a tight game.

Asked about his role, Allen kept it simple.

“I felt comfortable. I knew where I had to be and what I had to do.”

One of the main things Allen thinks he can help with is interior defense. The Nets have allowed an average of 130 points through two games, with an average of 63 points in the paint. Their pick-and-roll defense looks putrid, and Timofey Mozgov has struggled adjusting thus far. Allen should be ready for the call again on Sunday vs. Atlanta and he’s ready to help defensively.

“I think I can go back and help the big and help with [Nikola Vucevic]. I think I’d be able to go back and recover on him with my quickness.”

The youngest Net to ever play in a game at 19-years and 104 days was Favors. He, too, started strong with eight points and 10 rebounds in his debut. Before being traded in the Deron Williams deal, he often looked raw, but had his moments.

Allen is the young big the Nets want to replace Brook Lopez. Similar to Lopez, he has a quiet demeanor to his game and attitude. “It felt nice,” Allen laughed when he was asked about his explosive dunk that had Barclays Center jumping. “Any dunk feels nice.”

Expect to see a lot of dunks and minutes for Allen this year and in the future.