We all love him. We’ve all screamed at him at one time or another for something hair-brained he did during a game. We’ve all cheered during his moments of brilliance.
Tony Allen is the representative of Grit and Grind. But even the Grindfather needs a little refining from time to time. So, I present to you a list of "Do’s and Don’ts" for Tony to follow this upcoming season to better the Grizzlies’ chances of winning a championship.
Take random, ill-advised three-pointers. Especially during critical parts in the game. I think we can all agree that Tony has never been an excellent three-point shooter. In fact, these are his past four season averages from beyond the arc: 23.4%, 12.5%, 30.8%, and 17.4%. Sigh, it’s a little depressing, isn’t it? No, this category has never been the Grindfather’s cup of tea. So, to further the Grizzlies’ playoff hopes, leave the crunch time three-pointers to Mike Conley and Vince Carter. Seriously, Grizz Nations’ hearts will be better for it.
Continue to play stifling defense. Tony showcased his skills in this area during Round 1 of the playoffs against Durant. Tony often steps up to the challenge of big time opponents in big time situations. He had the NBA buzzing with his ability to limit the young superstar. Allen held Durant to under 50% shooting in 5/7 matchups (the other two being 52.0% in Game 1 and 66.7% in Game 7). While much of the world was just realizing in last year’s playoffs that the Grindfather was still capable at incredible defense, Grizz Nation already knew it. And I hope it continues. Tony’s defense rating for last season was 101 in the 55 games he played. As we all do, I’m trusting that the Grindfather will be in prime condition this season and will have more opportunity to choke out more giants in the NBA.
Play with Tayshawn Prince on the floor. Now, this isn’t necessary a conscious decision Tony can make; this is more on Dave Joerger. It’s been said in articles. It’s been written many times. It’s been screamed at the television by you and I. The fact is that this combo has never and will never work. Tayshawn has…err… limited offensive skills, and it’s not Tony Allen’s expertise either. So, to reiterate:
DON’T PLAY PRINCE AND ALLEN TOGETHER, JOERGER. IT WILL NEVER WORK. EVER. NOT IN ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.
Keep flexing on the sidelines. It’s the Tony Allen trademark. It inspires us all. #FlexemTony
Play with quick hands. Last season, Tony averaged a decent 1.6 steals. Being hindered for a fair chunk of games, this stat doesn’t have as large a sample size as other seasons did. But, being a defensive monster includes having quick enough hands to steal the ball consistently. From my point of view, it’ll be interesting to see if this state goes up in the 2014-15 season. He had a total of 12 steals in the seven games he played, and he averaged 1.7. So basically, he maintained the same level. I’d like to see him steal the ball more often.
Karate-chop people in the face. As humorous as it was, this definitely does not help the Grizzlies win a NBA championship in any shape or form. Here it is in case you forgot (Though, how could you forget?):
Keep cutting to the basket for the open pass. Tony is particularly good at this, as shown by the video below. His good eye and quick decisions often result in him appearing open underneath the basket for the easy points. Plus, if another player comes off his man to trap, it leaves for the open pass. And we can always use more points, as the Grizzlies haven’t always been the best offensively. However, these are two intriguing statistics: from 0-3 feet away from the basket, Tony shot a decent 56.2%. But from 3-10 feet, he shot an abysmal 12.3% (ouch). This again shows that, offensively, he’s best around the rim. And Tony cutting to the basket definitely better the chances of the Grizzlies taking home the championship. Just take a look at the first video. Without that cut, we might have not taken home that playoff win. And this is why the Grizzlies need to utilize him in "cutting" plays.
So there it is. Take it with an ounce of humor or seriousness, whichever you prefer. Tony is getting up in age, and these next few years are important to the future of the Grizzlies. Tony has and will do his part. Let’s hope the Grindfather keeps doing what he does best: grinding.
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