Lavoy Allen is entering his final season of the two-year extension he received from the Philadelphia 76ers. He will have to play with a sense of urgency this season. Otherwise, he may suffer the same fate as most former Temple University basketball players, who end up looking for a career after college as Euro League or the D-League players.
Allen’s stats and minutes have mostly gone up last season: 5.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 0.7 blocks in 21.1 minutes per game. Those numbers are still relatively low, however, and might not be impressive enough to warrant another extension from the Sixers — or even interest from other teams.
The 6-foot-9 power forward/center has a chance to show everyone his potential as an interior presence on a team that looks to be taking a step back. He will compete for the starting center role against Spencer Hawes and Arnett Moultrie while top draft pick Nerlens Noel is recovering.
Motivation seems to be Allen’s biggest problem. There were moments where he showed flashes, such as the game against the Charlotte Bobcats where he grabbed 22 rebounds and scored 14 points on 7-of-16 from the field. However, most of his performances are more like the one against the Toronto Raptors earlier in the season, where he managed to miss all his shots, going 0-of-5 and grabbing no rebounds in 21 minutes.
Allen must work on his conditioning if he is to see his numbers go up drastically. His lack of conditioning showed last season when he was struggling to run back on defense, causing him to get out of position and into foul trouble. Offense is another area he needs to improve on. Both his free throw shooting and field goals have trended down.
The mystery will be whether Allen becomes the physical presence he showed during 2012 playoffs, or if he will continue to disappear for stretches like last season.