Brooklyn Nets basketball returned to the Barclays Center on Friday night, as the Nets faced off against the Orlando Magic in their team opener. Despite being without their lead point guard, Jeremy Lin, the Nets still managed to sneak away with its first victory of the 2017-18 season. It was an excellent display of team basketball Friday night, with 11 different Nets contributing to the scoreboard. The turnover count (18) was still high, but this time, it was not enough to let the game slip out of Brooklyn’s fingertips. Quite fittingly, this edition of game notes and observations will highlight five different Nets who made a huge impact in the home opener.
Honorable Mention: Joe Harris, 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 shooting from downtown. With Sean Kilpatrick still not garnering a second in the Nets’ rotation, it appears Harris has solidified his place as the Nets’ backup hot hand.
Jarrett Allen Makes a Big Nets Debut
The Nets’ No. 22 pick in this year’s draft, Jarret Allen, finally suited up in a black-and-white uniform, and boy, did he make a statement. By stepping on the court in Brooklyn’s second game of the season, Allen became the second-youngest Net to appear in a game, trailing behind Derrick Favors‘ Nets debut on October 27, 2010, by 78 days in age.
The rookie immediately caught Nets fans’ attention by starting his Nets debut with two consecutive dunks and a block. All three plays occurred within 30 seconds toward the end of the second quarter. Plus, the rook had another earth-shattering hammer in the fourth. Not too shabby for a guy’s first game in the NBA, especially with size always being a concern for the team. Allen even got some action in crunch time (14 minutes for a debut is quite a lot).
— NBA (@NBA) October 21, 2017
“Big Jay” definitely knew how to make fans excited in the first home game of the year. If he can continue to throw it down and use his incredible 9-foot-1 standing reach like he has, then man, are fans in for a treat (and not just because there are 10 days left until Halloween).
Trevor Booker is Still the Firepower the Nets Need Off the Bench
In the second half of last season, Trevor Booker began coming off the bench as the Nets began the “Rondae Hollis-Jefferson at the 4 experiment.” One noticeable stat from last season was that while Booker was used by Brooklyn both as a starter and reserve, his production was not much different in the roles. As a starter, he averaged just five minutes more per game and posted 9.8 points and 8.6 rebounds. Off the bench, he actually averaged more points — 10.2 — and grabbed 7.2 boards per game.
Brooklyn has continued on with Hollis-Jefferson as the starting power forward, which places Booker once again in a reserve role. It was not surprising at all that the 29-year-old power forward was the key cog that made a difference. The Nets got off to a slow start against the Magic, but it was Booker’s presence and production that quickly brought the team back into the game (and ultimately take the lead after the first 12 minutes). He notched four rebounds, four points and an assist in just six minutes of action in the first quarter. By the end of the night, Booker tied two other Nets as the leading scorers with 17 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. This is already the second consecutive double-double for him this season, making Booker the first player since Kevin Love in 2009 to post double-doubles as a bench player in each of his team’s first two games of a season.
Spencer Dinwiddie Was Exactly What the Nets Needed at Backup PG
When things get tough, call The Mayor, and he will show up. Booker was one of the highlights off the Nets’ bench, and Spencer Dinwiddie was another.