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Tony Allen: The Road Back

Yesterday I looked at Tony Allen's roller coaster 2007 season up until his knee surgery. Today I'm picking the story up there and chronicling Allen's road back. Enjoy.

March 22, 2007 - Paul Pierce and Delonte West took over the FSN studio for a spirited back and forth that showcased West's comedic genius and touched on Tony Allen's style or lack thereof:

"I'm saying you talk about fashion, you talk about you one of the best dressed in the league, you got the most style, you got the most flavor. I'm saying on the team wo, you probably ranked, I put you right behind Tony Allen. You know Tony Allen, Tony Allen don't wear nothing but thermals and beanies." - Paul Pierce

Other than that Allen was not a major factor. Occasionally I'd catch a replay of the injury or see him in the crowd for a game. Otherwise he was just another reason why the 2007 had gone so horribly wrong.

April 24, 2007 - Allen is acquitted of all charges from the White Palace incident. That was a major relief for Allen and his family.

May 22, 2007 - The Boston Celtics came in fifth in the 2007 draft lottery. This devastated Celtics fans and allowed people around the country to take shots at a franchise and its fan base that were viewed as strong tanking proponents. In no way did I think of Tony Allen.

June 6, 2007 - Peter F. Stringer wrote a column for about Allen's rehab. I remember being incredibly skeptical about his future. For the record no matter how many times I proclaim, "Allen is back" over the next few months, know that I believe it takes at least a year to come back from that type of injury, realistically longer.

June 28, 2007/July 31, 2007- The Celtics trade for Ray Allen and later Kevin Garnett.  For obvious reasons Allen is not included in either deal. But one has to wonder if that would have been the case had Allen not blown out his knee in such a horrific fashion.

October 2007 - Rampant talk about Tony Allen's health, or lack thereof, coincided with his frustration about his physical limitations and the Celtics' decision to not offer him a contract extension.

I was a little concerned when Allen sat out a preseason game against the Knicks that spiraled into a 40-point victory. Clearly he was not 100%, even for garbage time. Thankfully Allen sat out of the Worcester debacle. It turns out a slippery court can be bad for a reconstructed knee. Allen then played in the final three preseason games.

November 2007 - Predictably Allen did not storm out of the gates on fire. Instead he averaged 12 minutes per game. He also played five minutes or fewer in three games and put up a DNP in the final three games of the month.

December 2007 - By December 2007 Mike Gorman had told us numerous times that Allen had a clean bill of health but continued to struggle mentally and did not trust his athleticism. The mental block proved daunting as Allen had a poor showing against a LeBronless Cavs team at home and then played a poor first half on the road in Philly. However, as Mark Spears reported Rivers challenged Allen and stuck with him. Despite Allen's improved play in the second half of the 76ers game, the alleged clean bill of health, the big minutes in the two games Ray Allen sat out, both Celtics wins, and the 11 steals in the past 4 games, the former Oklahoma State star recently estimated that he is currently playing at 70%. Not cool. Can the Celtics rely on him against an elite team? I would say no. But check back in two months.

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