DeAndre Jordan will start over Jarrett Allen for unheralded talent no one is talking about

Rick Laughland

The Brooklyn Nets have an embarassment of riches at the center position. During the preseason, Jarrett Allen and DeAndre Jordan duked it out to determine who will be in the starting lineup when the Nets take on the Timberwolves on Oct. 23. 

The reality is, the answer is apparent and the position battle is over. Jordan will be the team's starting center and has the experience, and playoff experience at that to back it up. 

With Allen reportedly adding 15 pounds of muscle this offseason, Jordan is a much more capable option to bang with the big bodies of Al Horford in Philadelphia, Marc Gasol in Toronto and Enes Cantor in Boston and even Mitchell Robinson with the Knicks. Brooklyn looks to compete in a well-rounded Atlantic Division that many critics can argue is the most complete top to bottom division in all of basketball. 

The Atlantic sent four teams to the playoffs last year: Toronto (2) Philadelphia (3) Boston (4) and Brooklyn (6). Three of those teams won at least one round and the Raptors of course toppled an injury plagued Golden State Warriors squad sans Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson for the majority of the series to capture the franchise's first ever Larry O'Brien trophy. 

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If the Nets are look to take that next step this season, Jordan is the more accomplished scorer, as he holds the NBA's all-time highest field goal percentage for his career at at 67 percent and improved his previously woeful free throw shooting to improve to 70.5 at the charity stripe. 

Jordan is an electric shotblocker like Allen, but the real difference in his game is his uncanny ability to set bulldozing screens that create room and separation for the guards in pick and roll, curl and flare options. 

At 6-11,  265 pounds, Jordan is the physical specimen while the lanky 6-11, 230 pound Allen is still growing into his body. For a Nets squad that is predicated on man movement and ball movement, Jordan's screening ability will be an unheralded part of his game that will free up jumpshooters like Joe Harris and Kevin Durant, while creating driving lanes for slashers like Spencer Dinwiddie and Kyrie Irving. 

While Allen's future is still very bright in Brooklyn, the 21-year old still has some physical maturing and NBA experience under his belt before he can be established as a bonafide starter and bordenline All-Star. Jordan will serve as his mentor and likely the two will split minutes with Jordan playing 25-30 per night, while Allen will play 20-25. 

In reality, the Nets are in an envious situation with an established All-Star and premium shotblocker and dinker starting and a budding star and superb finisher and rim protector in his own right in Allen coming off the bench. 

 

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