I’m going to start out this article with a quick quote that I made on October 19th of this year. This was around the time the Celtics were looking to cut the roster to 15 and in simple terms, I wanted Tony gone. I was looking for any way possible to get the guy off the roster, I even considered cutting him for Mike Sweetney.
“Face it folks, Tony Allen is a BUST. There is no way around it, he has not provided anything positive to our team in two years. Even when he was producing, it was nothing I would brag about.”
Let’s just say I am biting my tongue now after watching Tony Allen so far this season. The man is on a tear right now and is making people like myself want to take back their words. Before his return to the lineup I was still saying that I did not want the guy on the court one bit, and trust me I am not the only one. People all around Celtics nation did not want to see this guy in a green uniform.
Every time a trade rumor came up, guess whose name was thrown up in the air to make the financial part of the deal work? If you said Tony Allen you were right. Since Tony’s return he has been playing with a form of determination I have never noticed from him. He is out there playing like he has something to prove, and in all reality he does. Since being drafted out of Oklahoma State in the 2004 NBA draft Tony Allen has not lived up to his expectations one single bit.
Now that we know Tony Allen isn’t going to be a superstar type of player, what do we want and expect from him? Because he has lowered the standards so low his performance so far this year is exactly what we want to see from him. His 7.2 ppg since returning to the teams exceeds my expectation by a large margin. I had the understanding that if we did happen to see Tony play a game it was because we were comfortably ahead by 15-20. Contrary to that, these past few games he has been a huge x-factor for this team and it is questionable whether the team would be 21-5 right now without him.
Along with scoring 7.2 points per game Tony is currently second on the team in steals behind Rondo with 1.33, and like I said above a lot of this has to do with his determination to finally succeed. If you don’t think he heard all these people bashing his game this past summer you are crazy. This type of stuff, like what I said in my quote at the beginning of the article, is one of the reasons why we are seeing a more productive Tony Allen this season.
So you may ask what he did to become more productive. Did he work on his jump shot? Did he continue to improve defensively? Did he become better at getting to the rim? I’m sure the answers to all of these are yes, but they are not the main reason why he is having the success he is having. The reason why he is being more productive is because he is playing within himself and playing within his role. Tony Allen is an attacker, his offensive strength lies within being able to attack the basket. Before this year Tony had a hard time recognizing the strengths in his game and seemed to always force up contested jumpers and try to create offense by himself.
This year Tony has shifted his game into more of a role players style of play. He is coming into games doing what he has to do to help the team win. He is playing great defense, bringing a lot of energy, and capitalizing at the hoop when he gets the opportunity.
A lot of this may have to do with the fact that he has 6-8 weeks to really prove his worth before Marquis Daniels returns to action. This is Tony’s time to really prove that he deserves to be one of those guys that comes into the games early to give Ray Allen and Paul Pierce rest. If he continues to play like he currently is, then we can expect him to get some quality minutes even after the return of Daniels. But if he slows down one bit he just may be occupying a seat on the bench next to J.R Giddens and Lester Hudson.
So what do you think about Tony Allen’s play so far this year? Will he continue to play like this, and if he does what will his role be when the team is completely healthy? Let us know by dropping a comment, we will try to respond to as many comments as we can.