2011-2012 Stats: 9.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 1.4 apg, .469 FG%
Per 36 minutes: 13.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.0 apg
2011-2012 NBA 1st Team All-Defensive
Entering the 2012-2013 NBA season, I am not sure if another player on the Memphis Grizzlies roster has a more definite role than shooting guard Tony Allen. Not posing as an offensive threat, night-in and night-out, Allen will guard the best player on the other team whether it’s Chris Paul or Kobe Bryant. Allen is the face of the “Grit-and-Grind” philosophy that the team lives by.
Offensively, it would be nice if Tony could improve vastly, but that’s not what the team needs from him. What the team needs from him is the same as last year: bring that doghouse energy every game and keep the opponent’s best player from making a mockery of the club. And, when healthy, Tony can do that. Last season, Tony posted a defensive rating of 100, which is the second lowest of his career.
If there is one thing Tony has been working on over the offseason, hopefully it’s been on his three-point shot. After last season it has become pretty clear that the team is still lacking multiple shooters that can help spread the floor. Last season, Allen only made eight three-pointers. While that seems very bad it isn’t seeing as he only shot 26 threes in total. If he can improve his jump shot, it’ll help spread the floor and give space to Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph in the post. Otherwise, defenders will be able to four-on-five when Tony is on the floor. Another spot of needed improvement, according to Basketball-Reference is the 10 to 15 foot jumper. Again, Allen only made eight jumpers and shot .242 percent from that range throughout the season.
Overall I don’t expect much change from the eight-year veteran. His game compliments the rest of the starting lineup which is filled with four different types of scorers. His job won’t be to attempt to replace former Grizzlie O.J. Mayo scoring wise; that’s what other players were signed for. He brings an energy that no one else on the team has and quite frankly without Tony Allen there is no “Grit-and-Grind”. Can his play improve a little? Yes, but his role will be defined until his career ends, so much change won’t be necessary.
Previous: Josh Selby