Lavoy Allen has had an up and down first two seasons in the NBA. His numbers were modest (4.1 points, 4.2 rebounds) in his rookie season, but as a second round pick he stepped up, especially in the playoffs (6.3 points, 4.9 rebounds in only 19 minutes per game). He was rewarded with a two-year, $6 million contract.
Year two in the league was a bit of a regression as his efficiency went down and his overall softness on rebounding and defense were pointed out.
In year three, the final year of his contract, Allen’s role with the Philadelphia 76ers will be bigger than ever. Is he ready to live up to the challenge? The Sixers are set in the frontcourt with Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young starting, but the bench is a bit more of a question mark. Kwame Brown, Nerlens Noel and Arnett Moultrie are all injured. Royce White is a question mark depending if he’ll even get on the court. Solomon Alabi, Mac Koshwal and Tim Ohlbrect have work to do to even make the club.
By default, there is pretty much no competition for Allen when it comes to getting the first big men minutes off the bench in 2013. The question remains will the confidence of having no one behind him make him complacent and play soft or will he step up be a big time contributor to the club?
The knock on Allen, even in college, has always been his motor. This year could be make or break in terms of him getting another NBA contract, and he will get every opportunity to produce this season. During the first half of the season Allen should get at least 25 minutes a game. What he does with it remains to be seen, but Allen needs to step up not only for his club, but for the sake of his NBA future.