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November 24, 2017 | 12:08 pm EST Update
Right now, the only thing holding back the Nets’ Jarrett Allen is Kenny Atkinson. The way Allen has played since returning to action — and the way the Nets have struggled for a solution at center — it’s apparent he’s going to have to start playing extended minutes, sooner rather than later. “Jarrett came in and gave us a nice boost, good energy off the bench. Yeah, I was proud of his competitive grit,” Atkinson said after Allen played well off the bench in Wednesday’s loss at Cleveland. “Jarrett is progressing nicely. I just hope we can get some consistency there, and we can start using him.”
“The reason he hasn’t been out there is because he’s been limited by the injury. That was the idea,” Atkinson said. “I’ve known that since training camp that he’s going to contribute right away. I thought in the beginning [he’d be in] G-League. That was before we discovered who he is. I like his basketball IQ. I like his toughness. Love went at him twice and scored, and then [Allen] came back and blocked his shot. He didn’t back down. Yes, I think if he stays healthy, he’s going to be a contributor to this team.”