Ian Begley, who covers New York basketball for ESPN, writes Wednesday about Jarrett Allen’s ever increasing talent for blocking attempted dunks —and other shots as well. Begley notes that yes, there is a statistic for blocked dunks and yes, Allen is No. 2, two blocks behind JaVale McGee of the Lakers.
Begley meticulously lists ALL the big blocks Allen has executed on the league’s best. And here it is... in case you haven’t been keeping track...
- Oct. 17: Allen wasted no time getting on the board with this block of Blake Griffin, who was ready to add Allen to his mixtape on opening night.
- Dec. 18: LeBron James drives the lane and reaches back for a one-handed jam, but Jarrett Allen doesn’t back down, meeting him with an emphatic rejection.
- Dec. 29: Allen turned an Giannis Antetokounmpo Eurostep into a highlight block when he met the Greek Freak at the rim in a game in Milwaukee. Allen denied Giannis again when the Bucks came to Brooklyn.
- Jan. 2: After feeling the wrath of an Anthony Davis dunk in their previous meeting, Allen denied The Brow twice at the rim when the Nets faced the Pelicans in Brooklyn.
- Jan. 16: Allen couldn’t stop Harden from extending his 30-point streak, but he sure ended any attempt at a highlight-reel dunk at the end of the first half in Houston.
Overall, Allen has blocked 15 dunks this season and is 12th in the league in blocks per game.
In addition to laying out the list, Begley also writes about the Fro vs. King dunk and how it came about, talkint to (almost) everyone involved. You KNOW who didn’t talk to him.
ALL THAT’S LEFT for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson to do is pray.
LeBron had just gone to his left to beat the Nets forward off the dribble, ready to elevate and throw down his signature right-handed slam for his first points of the night.
Hollis-Jefferson knows Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson won’t be happy if the Los Angeles Lakers superstar finishes the play with an easy dunk less than two minutes into the first quarter. So Hollis-Jefferson turns around, hoping to see his center somewhere near the rim as James switches hands and gathers himself 4 feet from the basket.
“When I turned and I see J about to jump, I was like, ‘Please block it,’” Hollis-Jefferson says. “Because if not, you’ll be on the top 10.”
Allen, positioned in the paint, reads James’ body language and knows that he’s looking to finish with a highlight.
”You can tell when any player is gathering to go and dunk it. ... You can see [LeBron] brings it back a little bit when he goes up,” Allen says.
So the 20-year-old slides to his right, loads up and meets James at the rim, bracing for impact with the 260-pound forward. “People don’t know how powerful his dunks are,” Allen says.
They don’t find out on that December night in Brooklyn, as Allen rises roughly a foot above the rim to reject the king.
“As I saw it, really he came down the lane [so I went] up to contest the shot,” Allen says. “Just, you know, it’s LeBron.”
The ball careens off the backboard and Allen ends up on the ground, not immediately realizing the impact of the moment about to take over social media.
”But then you hear the crowd’s reaction,” Allen says. “And then what really gets you is you hear them start yelling again when they show the replay.”
Hours later, Allen finds out that he had become just the eighth player to block the four-time MVP, who has more than 1,800 dunk attempts in his career.
It’s hard to believe this won’t be the block of the year. If you missed it, here it is.
Next week, there will likely be a reprise in L.A. (as long as LeBron isn’t resting in the Lakers’ last minute tank.) Should be fun.
- Jarrett Allen is meeting the NBA’s best at the rim -- and winning - Ian Begley - ESPN