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Tony Allen's Uphill Climb


There's a lot on Tony Allen today.  Green Bandwagon has an updated player profile on him and both the Herald and Globe have stories about him.

Steve Bulpett sums up his situation nicely:

Early in the last quarter Sunday, Tony Allen stole the ball from Miami’s Chris Quinn and had an open lane to the hoop. As he contemplated the possibilities, he lost the handle on the rock and left his layup on the front of the rim.

It may have been a microcosm of his season. Allen has struggled on the way back from major surgery on his left knee, falling into uncertainty at times as to its strength. Now he is dealing with the knee and a bruised back and, of some significance, the fact he will be a restricted free agent when this season ends.

He broke out a bit last season with six straight games of 20-plus points and was on his way to a seventh when he tore his ACL in January. Now he is trying to fill a defensive role for the Celtics [team stats] while realizing he probably won’t be able to lock up financial security with his next contract. 

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Marc Spears talks about how Ray Allen spent some time shooting with him after practice (at Tony's request).

"There are so many plays where he has the ball and teams are leaving him open and telling him to shoot it," Ray Allen said. "It's confidence for him and using the power he has in his legs to get up into his shot.

"He has to have the confidence to shoot the shot. A lot of his shots are short because when he's shooting the ball he's holding on to it [too long]. I tried to explain what I'm thinking when I'm shooting and what I want."

Now it is all about his knee and his confidence in it:

"It sure isn't 100 percent to where I want it to be, but I'm fighting," Allen said. "That's all I can do at this point. Some days it gets better than others.

"I was told that this would happen. Fighting is what I got to do from here on. It's no excuse on anything. I'm just taking it in stride.

"It's frustrating. It's behind me and all I can do is move forward."

Rivers said he believes that some of Allen's issues are mental, since doctors have assured the Celtics that the knee is strong again.

"He's better," Rivers said. "I think he has to [get] better on the floor as far as his play. I don't use his knee [as an excuse] anymore."

It is hard not to root for the guy.  He's had a lot of ups and downs on this team and he seems determined to get through them.  He's a defensive stopper-type with athleticism that was stolen from him twice and he's trying to get it back.  Here's hoping he finds his stride and can contribute to this special team in the postseason.

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