The injury list keeps piling up for the Philadelphia 76ers‘ frontcourt. We already knew Nerlens Noel was going to be out until at least January while recovering from his torn ACL. Now, Arnett Moultrie will need just as long to recover from ankle surgery and Kwame Brown might miss time with a hamstring injury (but that’s okay). The depleted Sixers’ frontcourt consists of Spencer Hawes, Lavoy Allen, Royce White and Tim Olbrecht. One name to keep an eye on as someone who absolutely must step up is Allen.
Allen showed promise as a rookie, especially in the postseason where he averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds in 19.7 minutes while shooting 55.7% from the field. He particularly showed a physical and mental toughness on the defensive end while trying to deal with Kevin Garnett.
The franchise saw enough in him to give him a two-year, $6 million contract after his rookie season. But once he made that money, his game has been MIA. Last year he averaged 5.8 points and 5.0 rebounds, but he shot only 45.4 percent and was noticeably soft on the glass and on the defensive end.
Worst of all, when asked what he’s learned since his rookie year, his response was “What have I learned? I mean, what have I learned? That’s a good question. Uhh, nothing really,” he said. “I didn’t have to do any rookie duties this year, so that’s good, I guess.” He clearly has no intention of working to get better or make any sort of impact.
But even if he is willing or not he is going to get his chance by default this year. Allen will see significant minutes this year and he will get the chance to prove he is worth another contract. He has to play much better than he did last season and he needs some sort of motor to win over this town.