Entering his second season in the league, and coming off a two-year, six-million-dollar contract extension, Lavoy Allen is determined to avoid the effects of the common “sophomore slump.”
A former second-round pick (50th overall) out of Temple, Allen hit fan-favorite status early in his rookie campaign, having lived in Philadelphia since the age of nine.
Allen saw very few minutes early in the season. However, injuries to Spencer Hawes and Nikola Vucevic gave way to a memorable January 23 performance against the Washington Wizards. In his first meaningful minutes as a pro, Allen dropped ten points on five-for-five shooting and hauled in six rebounds in a 103-83 victory.
Allen went on to average fifteen minutes a game for the rest of the season, pulling in an average of four boards and four points per game. He saw his minutes increase during the postseason (to almost twenty a game) and raised his averages to five boards and six points per – at an impressive 56% shooting (mostly jump-shots).
Despite being heralded for impressive on-court maturity while at Temple, the rookie’s inexperience still hindered his on-court play. Defensive gaffes and misreads offensively hurt his production. However, it was not to the point where fans began jeering him off the court. Quite frankly, the exact opposite happened.
Allen’s willingness to rebound and his ability to stretch the floor offensively earned him respect as a solid off-the-bench replacement for either frontcourt position.
Due to the losses of Elton Brand and Vucevic, Lavoy Allen will be asked to play an increased role this season. He will have a chance to land the fourth spot in the team’s frontcourt rotation (behind Hawes, Thaddeus Young, and Andrew Bynum) – as long as he can prove to be more productive than Kwame Brown and rookie Arnett Moultrie.
Look for Allen to play upwards of twenty-five minutes a game at both frontcourt positions. His production should dance around seven points and seven boards a game – with an addition of a few assists (especially in the potential high-to-low offense with Bynum). Anything less, honestly, would be cause for concern in the youngster’s development.
- Dave Hilts
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