Tony Allen Contributing On Floor and Behind Closed Doors
Nothing about the Memphis Grizzlies is really flashy. They like to keep games low-scoring, beat teams on the glass and shut down their opponents with suffocating defense. It’s hard-nosed and gritty basketball that’s being played in Memphis. No one probably epitomizes that more than Grizzlies guard Tony Allen.
Looking at Allen’s statistics for this season, he doesn’t deserve an All-NBA Team nomination or anything like that. He is averaging just 8.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.62 steals per game. However, one thing that has always stood out about Allen is his defensive play.
His 1.62 steals per game are obviously nice, but an even better measure of how well he’s played on the defensive end this season is his defensive rating, or the number of points he allows per 100 possessions against him. At 94.4, it’s the second-lowest on this Memphis team. Allen is a player who uses his long arms and his tenacity to be one of the best perimeter defenders in the league.
Apparently, that tenacious attitude isn’t just seen on defense, but in the locker room and at Grizzlies practices. According to an article from Ronald Tillery in the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Allen is a player who likes to get his teammates fiery and riled-up in practice so that they perform well.
Another telling part of the article is from Allen himself. He says that he doesn’t really worry about his offensive game because he wants to put all of his energy into the defensive part of the game. That shows just how fitted Allen is to the grinding style that the Grizzlies like to play.
Allen becomes a free agent after this season. However, if the Grizzlies are smart and want to continue to build their franchise around this style of play, they’d be wise to keep him around. When it comes to toughness and grit, he is the perfect example for players to look to.