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Jarrett Allen Interview

January 29, 2019
10:52 p.m. ET

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Jarrett Allen InterviewSecond-year Brooklyn Nets center Jarrett Allen on Tuesday was named along with teammate Rodions Kurucs to the Rising Stars roster for 2019 All-Star weekend. This comes as no surprise, as the 6-11, 237-pound defensive-minded talent is putting up 11.3 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 26.7 minutes per game this season for a successful 28-24 Nets team that since early December has been among the best teams in the Eastern conference.

Inside Hoops editor Jeff Lenchiner met with Allen today for an exclusive interview: You were just named to the 2019 Rising Stars roster at 2019 NBA All-Star weekend. What's your reaction to making the game?

Jarrett Allen: I'm happy. I've worked hard to get here. Last year, I think it shows just how much I've improved. Being on the cusp, and now being inside the game. Your defensive ability, what's your secret, your method, as you play and judge what the offensive player is about to do?

Allen: I'd say partially it's me, but a lot of it is my teammates. A lot of it happens just on the court just talking out the defense. So it's really just my teammates helping me out on the defensive end. When you're guarding a certain star player, with certain go-to moves, how much of defense is you expecting that the player will try those exact moves, versus you reacting and not even thinking about what that player's go-to move often is?

Allen: I think it's 50-50. With the star players, you kind of scout them more, what they're going to do. But another part of it is just my instinct. I've been blocking shots all my life. Do you have a favorite shot-block in the NBA so far?

Theo Pinston [listening nearby]: Blake.

Allen: Favorite block was, we were in Chicago. I went out to contest a three, and then came back inside -- I know you were expecting me to say "LeBron," but it wasn't the LeBron block. Who was this against?

Allen: I think it was Kris Dunn... I went out to contest a three, and they missed, and they got the offensive rebound, and I ran back in and blocked it. What was your "welcome to the NBA" moment. When you realized, "wow, I'm really in this league?"

Allen: It was my first starts. The first night it was against [Kristaps] Porzingis, and then literally it was either the next night or two nights later, I had to start against Joel Embiid. So, those were my first two starts, against top talent. So you were like, "wow, this is serious."

Allen: Yeah! Yeah.