Newcomer Ed Davis’s value goes beyond what he will provide on game days. The veteran forward is also going to be a key factor in the development of young center Jarrett Allen.
“It’s been helpful,” Allen said of facing Davis in practice every day. “Ed Davis is amazing at rebounding. It’s helping me get ready for the season. … If he gets an offensive rebound, Coach is going to be yelling, and you don’t want Coach yelling. It’s my job to keep him off the glass.”
Allen, 20, said he’s already learned a lot from the 29-year-old Davis, like proper positioning and the need to be more active at both ends of the floor. Davis, who averaged 5.3 points and 7.4 rebounds for the Trail Blazers last season, rarely stops moving.
“He’s getting great preparation for playing against these big, strong guys,” coach Kenny Atkinson said.
Allen, the Nets’ long-armed 6-foot-11 first-round pick a year ago who averaged 8.2 points, 5.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks in 72 games as a rookie, will get tested immediately. He’ll face the likes of Enes Kanter of the Knicks, Andre Drummond of the Pistons and Jonas Valanciunas of the Raptors in the preseason.
“Going right into it, playing against big people, playing against big bodies, it’s going to show what I did all last year and what’s coming for me in the coming years,” Allen said. “So it’s just a good way to start it off.”
Atkinson wasn’t ready to reveal his starters for Wednesday’s preseason opener against the Knicks at Barclays Center. But he is excited to see where his team stands against an opponent.
“I think guys are in a good spot. [I’m] pleased so far with how we’ve prepared,” Atkinson said. “It’s just going to be great to play against some other guys, get some feedback of where we are.”
The Nets will have four preseason games. This will be the only one at home.