|Posted by B-PAUL on February 3, 2010 at 12:38 AM|
This year the Boston Celtics have been lucky to be embraced by the presence of a new Tony Allen. Deep down this is the same guy that has been on the team during the past few years. He has the same DNA, same physical appearance, and some of the same flaws; however, as most Celtics fans have noticed, a lot has changed within this same guy.
This same guy has changed from so called "cancer" to a guy not even the harshest of Celtics fans would want to give up. He has changed from a guy who wanted to be shipped out of town, to a guy that has a true place and a true role on this team. He has changed from a loser, to a winner.
Correct me if I am wrong but the Tony Allen I, along with many other Celtics fans, expected to see this season was the Tony Allen that dribbles the ball off his knee every time down the court, the Tony Allen that shoots jumpers way out of his range, and the Tony Allen that fouls every time the person he is guarding throws up a nice pump fake. Let's keep it simple and say we were wrong.
Earlier this season I was calling shots to have T.A pack his bags and move hundreds of miles away to a different city. I wanted nothing to do with him and honestly believed there was no place for him on the team. We are now past the halfway mark of the season and I regret every word of that article. I don't want to jinx him and I don't know if I dare say it but... Tony Allen is a freakin' animal.
This season Tony has accomplished more than you could even dream of. Don't get me wrong, he isn't Paul Pierce, he isn't Rajon Rondo, and really he isn't even Rasheed Wallace. What he is, is a great role player who is finally finding and settling into his role on this team.
As most of you probably know by now, Tony Allen is neither a ball handler nor a shooter. Tony Allen is a guy who can get to the rim, play in your face defense, and grab "Tommy Points". For most of his career he has struggled with this role. Instead of accepting this role he has tried to make himself a superstar by creating his own offense and resorting to shooting jump shots.
Coming out of Oklahoma State as the 25th pick in the NBA Draft you would have to assume it was very hard for Tony to accept a lesser role. After all, most players who enter the NBA come into the league accustomed to playing huge roles on both their high school and college teams. It has taken a total of six years, and a lot of hard work, but Tony Allen has finally found his role.
This season T.A is doing everything we want him to and more. So far he is averaging 7.3ppg, 1.8 assists per game (career high), and he is currently shooting 52.6% (career high). That final stat really sticks out to me and shows me that he is accepting his role. He is taking shots he should be taking and making them, not taking crazy off balance shots and throwing up air balls.
Besides the statistical aspect there are ways that Tony has helped the team that you would not exactly find in the box score. This season he is bringing something that not many players on the team are... hustle. Tony is diving for loose balls, making smart basketball decisions, and doing all the little things that an avid basketball fan appreciates.
Late last night I spoke with A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE and he told me he believes Tony Allen has been the most consistent player on the Boston Celtics over the past month. He stated the fact that before this season the two things Tony Allen lacked were consistency and the ability to play a role. This year he has for the most part he has been consistent and has played his role.
Here's to hoping that Tony Allen will continue being a true asset of the Boston Celtics. Let's hope that Tony continues to improve and in times like these can make the absence of such guys like Paul Pierce and Marquis Daniels less painful. From us.. to you Tony... keep it up!!!
Photos via Yahoo Sports/ Getty Images
Categories: Boston Celtics