clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Starting Tony Allen At Point?

New, comments

John Hollinger has some interesting news and thoughts:

Rivers raised eyebrows at Wednesday's press conference when he threw in a mention of the possibility of starting little-used Tony Allen at the point.

For Boston, the advantage of playing Tony Allen would come with size and defense. He's 6-4 and a good athlete, and if the Celtics are going to be playing a halfcourt game anyway, it probably doesn't hurt to trot out a bigger lineup -- they won't be getting transition points anyway.

Additionally, Allen provides two other advantages. The first is transition switches. The Lakers "crossmatched" by having Bryant guarding Rondo for much of Game 3 so that when the Celtics missed shots and the Lakers pushed it up quickly, Boston wouldn't have time to switch Ray Allen back on to Bryant.

Thus, Rondo would end up in a mismatch against the much bigger Bryant, which is how Bryant earned several of his free throws. That strategy doesn't work with the all-Allen backcourt, because Boston is comfortable with either defending Bryant.

The second advantage is that it lets Ray Allen off the hook as far as guarding Kobe, since Tony is better suited for the job anyway. He's athletic, has decent size and fared very well against Bryant (and several other elite scorers) in the regular season. As good as Boston was on defense this year, they were 3.0 points per 48 minutes better when Tony Allen was on the floor.

 Could it work?  Who knows?  I just hope Rondo's healthy enough to make it a moot point.