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Jarrett Allen: Modeling my game after Clint Capela

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Houston Rockets Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Clint Capela is more or less the unsung hero of Houston’s championship drive. The 6’10” 23-year-old is averaging a double-double —14.0 and 11.3— while blocking almost two shots a night. He’s a rim-running, shot-blocking phenomenon. Sound like anyone you know?

Jarrett Allen thinks he does.

“Clint Capela is like a perfect example of what I'm trying to do in my rookie season,” Allen told Black Sports Online after the Wizards game, where Allen had 10 points and six boards. “From there, then expand my game.”

Like adding a three point shot...

This is not the first time the two have been compared. Mike Schmitz, writing for ESPN Insider last summer, made the comparison.

Allen is a physical specimen full of raw talent, yet it's not clear what his exact role will be in the NBA. With measurements very similar to Clint Capela, Allen could act as a similar rim-runner, finisher and shot-blocker with switch potential. To go along with his go-go-gadget 7-5 wingspan and massive hands, Allen has natural touch and impressive agility for his size.

And before the draft, the Houston Chronicle reported that “Allen used the NBA playoffs as an opportunity to study Rockets center Clint Capela, drafted 25th overall in 2014.” As the Chronicle noted, the Rockets took their time developing Capela whose proportions are “remarkably similar to Allen's.”

The two matched up on November 27 in Houston. Capela had 20 points and six rebounds in 28 minutes while Allen had eight rebounds but didn’t score in 19.

Capela, who was barely 20 when drafted, took some time to develop, spending much of his first rookie year with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, then working his way into big minutes with Houston. The Nets would like to see Allen follow a similar path, but have opted to have him learn on the job rather in the G-League (which is what most fans expected.)

“We are trying to build him up, build his minutes, build his stamina, build his strength,” Kenny Atkinson told Fred Kerber of the Post last week. “There’s a plan in place. … We’re building him strategically...

“I know it gets lost with the coaches,” Atkinson added, referring to Allen’s age, 19 years and eight months. “Once the game starts, he’s just another player. … Just throw him out and ‘More.’ You rarely have that with a kid that young. And we’ve thrown a lot at him.”

The next thing, Atkinson hinted, is a pairing with Jahlil Okafor, telling Kerber he feels Okafor, at center, and Allen, at the 4, can play together. Allen agrees.

“I’m definitely comfortable,” he said. “The 4 and 5 here are interchangeable.”

More importantly, both Atkinson and Allen think the 22nd draft pick is a quick learner, just like Capela was in Houston.