Jarrett Allen's monster block of LeBron James puts young Nets center on the map

Jarrett Allen is not a name familiar in the realm of casual NBA fandom.

But the 20-year-old second-year center is full of potential, an athletic 6-11 rim protector who cleans up the glass and has touch around the rim. Think DeAndre Jordan with a free-throw stroke.

But he’s tucked away with the Brooklyn Nets, so a lot of fans don’t know his name.

Jarrett Allen makes his presence known

That’s likely less of a problem after Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Lakers were in town, and less than two minutes into the game, LeBron James came barreling down the lane with a full head of steam.

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LeBron James takes the court as a Laker for the first time
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LeBron James takes the court as a Laker for the first time
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) runs onto the court for the first time before a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) warms up before the game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) reacts after being called for a foul during the second quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers comes around a screen from Kyle Kuzma #0 during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) looks on during the first quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23, Rajon Rondo #9, JaVale McGee #7 and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope #1 of the Los Angeles Lakers talk after a stop in play during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks to pass in front of Will Barton #5 and Mason Plumlee #24 of the Denver Nuggets during a preseason game at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles waits during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers reacts to his foul during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: Shoes of LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers worn during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 30: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles waits during a preseason game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center on September 30, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Sep 30, 2018; San Diego, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) speaks to the media following the game against the Denver Nuggets at Valley View Casino Center. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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Allen emphatically denies LeBron James

Allen positioned himself in his rightful spot as a shot blocker. Then he delivered, with no fear.

James came down hard with the dunk attempt, but Allen met the challenge at the rim with a clean denial that led to a fast break the other way for the Nets.

James makes excuses

The block had James delivering excuses after the game.

“He’s in his twenties, I’m in my thirties,” James told reporters. “It takes me a little longer to get warmed up, but that’s fine.”

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It also set the tone for a 115-100 Nets win that extended Brooklyn’s winning streak to six games. The win streak was preceded by an eight-game losing streak and now has the Nets up to a respectable 14-18 record.

No downside for Allen

Allen, whose having a breakout campaign after a solid rookie season, saw the play as an opportunity, regardless of the outcome.

“Either way, you’re going to be on the highlight,” Allen said. “If you go up and you block it, you’re going to be on the highlight. You get dunked on, you’re going to be on the highlight. So just go up and protect the rim.”

Well-rounded game

Allen is one of the league’s best at protecting the rim, averaging 1.4 blocks per game. He’s also tallying 12.1 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 1.6 assists while shooting 59.6 percent from the floor and 73.6 percent from the line. The only thing missing from his game is a 3-point stroke, as he’s hit just 3-of-21 attempts this season.

The Nets selected Allen with the 22nd pick of the 2017 draft out of Texas as a raw prospect. He found his NBA form quickly and started 31 games as a rookie, earning the full-time starting job at center this season.

If you’re an NBA fan and his is a name you’re not familiar with, it’s time to get to know him.

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