Boston Celtics

Dumb and Dumber: Tony Allen's Player Capsule

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 06:  Ray Allen #20 of the Boston Celtics drives the ball against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on February 6, 2009 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Jay KingCorrespondent IMay 23, 2009

We all know the scenario: Tony Allen puts his head down, charges at the basket, and nobody knows what's going to happen; not his fans, not his teammates, not Doc Rivers, and, most certainly, not Tony Allen.

Sitting at home, watching Allen run like a chicken with his head cut off into the lane, I blame Doc

Allen may have great natural gifts, but I'm convinced his basketball IQ is the lowest in the league. Nobody in the league makes more plays that make you scratch your head and think, "why?".

Possessing a quick first step and a very strong frame, Allen should be a nightmare to defend. He is a pretty good ball-handler, capable of getting to the rim more or less whenever he pleases.

Where Allen falls short is his understanding of the game; he'll get by the first defender but, when help comes, Allen will still try to force his way to the basket, causing turnovers and tough shots.

I think every Celtics fan knows what it feels like to be awestruck by Allen's poor shot selection and decision-making on a basketball court.

Two glaring examples were when Doc inexplicably played him at the end of two games in the Chicago series. In the first game he saw crunch-time minutes, Allen played perfect defense on Ben Gordon and was about to force a tightly contested three-pointer when he bone-headedly, and quite blatantly, fouled Gordon.

Three foul shots for Gordon, and Tony Allen had done his damage. Then, at the end of regulation in Game 6, Allen took two ill-advised shots and the Celtics' eight-point lead evaporated.

After that, Doc finally learned his lesson and Allen saw nothing more than spot minutes the rest of the playoffs.

The only comparison I can make for how I feel when Tony Allen is on the court is to how I felt about George Bush's stint as President. Bush didn't make a bad decision every time he dealt with issues, but every bad move he did make was glaring and destructive to our country.

After Bush made mistake after mistake, forcing our country into the depths of a recession we haven't seen in 70 years, we turned on him and counted down the days until his term was over.

That's exactly how I feel when Tony Allen plays minutes; he may not make a mistake every play, but there is always the threat that he will make a horrible turnover or take a misguided shot or stupidly foul a three-point shooter.

Every time he's on the court, I can't wait until his stint is over and Doc subs somebody else in the game.

Last year, a lot of people had hopes for Tony Allen and felt he may have a breakthrough year after we lost Posey. Well, I think it's about time we recognize that Tony Allen will never be a reliable player.

I know his year was derailed by injuries (again), but if he couldn't earn minutes this year, when the Celtics needed a backup small forward worse than ever, Tony Allen will never be a player Doc can count on.

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