Sixers player evaluation: Lavoy Allen

Sixers player evaluation: Lavoy Allen

April 21, 2013, 9:00 am
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Note: Over the next couple of weeks we will recap the Sixers’ season by evaluating each member of the roster.

Lavoy Allen

Position: Center

Status: Signed through the 2013-14 season for $3 million.

Signature game of 2012-13
With Thad Young out with a strained hamstring for the Feb. 9 game against Charlotte, Allen was thrust into the starting lineup and came through with 22 rebounds in an 87-76 victory. Allen also contributed 14 points and grabbed 11 offensive rebounds in the career-best night.

“All I did was put my hands up,” Allen said that night. “I wasn’t doing anything special.”
Then again, rebounding has always come natural for Allen, whose big night helped the Sixers improve to 22-27. Allen set the school record for most rebounds in a career while at Temple, breaking John Baum’s record that stood for 42 years.
When Allen joined the Sixers, he averaged 10 rebounds per 36 minutes and flirted with a few double-doubles during last season's playoff run. However, Allen never really had too many games where he racked up the rebounds.
Until that night.
Allen’s effort stood out most on the offensive glass. Because the Sixers rarely get to the foul line, the extra possessions on offense added up.
“Lavoy was sensational,” coach Doug Collins said. “He gave us 11 offensive rebounds, which allowed us to get 93 shots. That’s critical for us because we don’t get to the free-throw line so we need a lot of shots.”
According to Allen, there’s a method to generating offense on the offensive glass. Whenever Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner or even Nick Young drive to the hoop, Allen gets into position because if the ball doesn’t go in, he is going to have a great chance to get a follow-up.
“I always crash the boards when Jrue or Evan or someone like that penetrates into the lane, because sometimes the big guy goes over to help so the offensive rebound is always there,” Allen explained.

Allen in 2012-13
After turning heads during the postseason against the Celtics, Collins and the Sixers expected big things from Allen. In fact, the Sixers expected enough from Allen to hand him a two-year, $6 million contract extension and allow first-round draft pick Nik Vucevic to be included in the trade to acquire Andrew Bynum. With Bynum expected to anchor the middle, the expectations for Allen seemed reasonable.

Instead, Allen never really got going in his second season. Though his 22-rebound effort on Feb. 9 was the best rebounding game of the season for the Sixers, he followed it up with a two-rebound effort the next game. Allen didn’t have any rebounds until late in the third quarter and flirted with becoming the first NBA player to follow up a 20-plus rebounding game with zero the next time out.

Allen is signed through the end of next season, so he will be back. There doesn’t seem to be much a trade market for Allen, either. Then again, Vucevic was traded even though he logged just three minutes in one playoff game.

Collins often points out that it often takes a player three years until they settle in to the NBA life and get their games together. For big men, however, sometimes it takes longer than three years.

“You have to be patient, but unfortunately in this business when winning and losing on a nightly basis are so important, it’s sometimes tough to have that kind of patience,” Collins said. “I think as long as guys show that commitment and you see it every day, that patience is longer.”

On Lavoy Allen ...

“Basketball-wise, I didn’t have a great year,” Allen said. “I was up and down here and there.”

- Lavoy Allen

“I go back to when we drafted him -- play with a motor.”

- Doug Collins

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