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Tony Allen: Identity Crisis is Over

Tony Allen now realizes that he is not Paul Pierce.
Tony Allen now realizes that he is not Paul Pierce.

Tony Allen now realizes that he is not Paul Pierce.

More important, because the team already has Paul Pierce…Ray Allen….and Kevin  Garnett….Tony understands the team needs him to do other things, let those guys be who they are, and work through them.

It is a beautiful and productive arrangement. It makes the Celtics that much more dangerous and difficult to deal with. The team could use the athleticism that Tony Allen brings.

Tony Producing

In just under 18 minutes a game in the playoffs, Tony Allen is second on the team only to theft king Rajon Rondo in steals (18), and one block shy of tying Kevin Garnett for second in blocked shots(9).

He has matured as a player and brings a much more consistent effort and contribution night in and night out. Much of his leaping ability is back. I believe that he is one of best the ‘finishers’ in the league.

He gives the aging core of this team much needed athleticism. More important, he has honed his abilities as a tremendous man-to-man defender. His help defense is much improved.

Tony Allen is in the Final year of his $2.5 mil Contract

Call it a message to Celtics management and perhaps his team mates. Tony Allen is a Celtic and wants to continue to be one. Maybe it is just Tony being happy that he had adjusted to a role that he is doing well at and the team desperately needs. Yet he feels he can get even better.

"I’m still a work-in-progress. Still a lot of work to be done. I won’t never, ever, ever, ever get complacent.

I am a Celtic. I’m going to give this organization as much as I have to give. (There is) still more work to be done."

It hasn’t been a straight line. It hasn’t always looked good. Injuries. Turnovers. Off court issues. And more injuries. The Tony Allen Experience has been anything but a straight line of growth and success.

It seems that every time Tony Allen started to get it going, an injury got in the way. I’m not even talking about his infamous after-the-whistle dunk that changed the course of destiny for a blossoming young Tony Allen when the team was a bunch of young pups getting smacked around the league’s big and medium sized dogs.

Tony Allen has played more than 54 games in a season only twice in his 6 year career. But there has been a learning curve as well.

Doc Rivers said that Tony finally knows his role. He does it well. He has finally clicked in.

" Let’s just say this.  I’m always clicked in, ready to do my role. But….I think that what got me in trouble in the past was….sometimes I was tending to….believe that the system wanted me to do some of those Paul Pierce plays….and drives and shots."

Like many players coming into this league they bring skills and talents that their prospective teams already have players doing those things… and much better. Making that adjustment can be difficult.

" Sometimes…. that wasn’t in the game plan. So…this year I learned to work through those guys. Let them be who they are. I would say that… doing that numerous amounts of times…is showing them that I can do it the right way. I think that they gained trust in me."

I’m not sure what to call it. A re-birth? Growth? How about a process of maturing and development?

Tony Allen is among the ‘young, athletic and energetic’ squad of the Boston Celtics and a member of the critical 8 man playoff rotation. In actuality Tony is only viewed with as youthful when compared to the elder statesmen of this veteran team.

Tony is 28 years old now and in the prime of his career.

Luckily, we are seeing that…Tony actually IS in the prime of his career.

At the start of the season, you wouldn’t have been able to get anything but infinite odds that come May that would be the case. Hell freezing over would get you better odds.

One of the more interesting stories over the past season is the change, for the better, of Tony Allen.

When discussing Tony Allen previously, ‘Good Tony – Bad Tony’ was a phrase often conjured. Turnovers have always been a bugaboo for TA. Without a solid back up option for Rajon Rondo, Tony has been asked by Doc Rivers to play point guard at times. It used to be an adventure.

But Tony Allen had off season ankle surgery and said at the beginning of the year that it would take most of the year for it to heal completely.

How far back is Tony? Everyone is banged up at this of year.

" I don’t like giving myself a percent. I’m going to say…I’m ready to play…whenever I’m out there."

You have been on the Celtics many years now. Can you compare this to anything at all?

" I’m not trying to. I’m trying to make this a transcendent season. It  (hasn't) been done before. Years to come…people will want to try to do it like this.

I’m not one of those guys that look back. I’m all for the now."

Tony’s identity conflicts are over. Paul Pierce is already here. Tony has found a solid groove that supports everyone else.

The Celtics’ own season this year is following a similar road to Tony Allen’s ‘don’t look back’ outlook.

And that’s when the Celtics need him. Now.


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