Owls' Allen gets second chance to impress Sixers


Owls' Allen gets second chance to impress Sixers

Sunday, June 19, 2011
Posted: 2:34 p.m.

By Matt Haughton

Prospects will do whatever it takes to impress NBA teams leading up to the draft. Even if that means damaging the organizations property to get noticed.

I went up for a dunk. The next time I looked the rim was on the floor, said Paris Horne of St. Johns after breaking a rim with a thunderous slam during the Sixers latest pre-draft workout at PCOM on Sunday.

While Horne used theatrics, former Temple standout Lavoy Allen maintained his typical steady self as he grinds through the workout process in hopes of finding an NBA home in Thursdays draft.

Its a very long process. Sometimes you have back-to-back workouts. This is my fourth one in a row, said Allen, who joined Horne and Kentucky teammates Josh Harrellson and DeAndre Liggins on Sunday. You got to get a lot of rest and stay hydrated.

The Sixers have seen plenty of Allen during his stay at Temple where he was played alongside T.J. DiLeo, son of former head coach and current senior vice presidentassistant general manager Tony DiLeo.

This was Allens second showing for the team at PCOM, but even the Pennsbury High School product doesnt know if it was because of growing interest or simply necessity.

Im not really sure because this was kind of a last-minute thing, he said. "It wasnt really expected. Im not sure if someone dropped out and they needed a replacement. I live in the area and they knew I was coming back home.

Nevertheless, Allen was eager to put his skills on display once again for the hometown club just like he did during the past four seasons with the Owls.

The Morrisville, Pa. native garnered plenty of accomplishments during his time on North Broad Street. He helped Temple reach the NCAA Tournament in each of his four years, was the first player at the school since Ollie Johnson in 1970-71 to average a double-double for an entire season, passed John Baum to become the universitys all-time leading rebounder and was named Big Five Player of the Year last season.

Allen tested the draft waters following his junior year, only to return to school after hearing he needed to work on his game. Now, with an improved arsenal, the 6-foot-9 forward likes the feedback hes received from around the league.

Ive heard Ive shot the ball pretty well, Ive always competed, Allen said. Some teams told me I have the skill to be an NBA player. Im not really sure if thats with their program or not, but they think I can play in the NBA one day.

Still, Allen likely finds himself in that gray area of potentially being a second-round pick or undrafted free agent. The Sixers hold the 50th overall pick to go along with No. 16 in the first round. They could certainly find value on the low post with Allen, but for every team pleased with his repertoire of offensive moves to go along with solid length and mobility there are those that will point to a lack of assertiveness as cause for caution.

Thats where the extra workouts come into play. Allen could have easily declined the Sixers after so many meetings with teams, including a three-day stretch out west leading up to Sunday with the Clippers, Warriors and Lakers. But he knows every opportunity to meet with a franchise is another impression and possible path to his lifelong dream.

Its very unpredictable, the draft. Im just hoping to get drafted, Allen expressed. I tried my best, competed in every workout and I think I did a good job.

E-mail Matt Haughton at mhaughton@comcastsportsnet.com

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Western Conference Finals: Warriors-Thunder ready for Game 7

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Western Conference Finals: Warriors-Thunder ready for Game 7

OAKLAND, Calif. -- After a record 73 wins and a memorable Game 6 comeback on the road, the Golden State Warriors' goal of getting back to the NBA Finals and defending their title comes down to Game 7 at home against the powerful Oklahoma City Thunder.

All along, the Warriors have said the numerous team milestones and personal accomplishments they set during this special season won't matter a bit unless they repeat as champions.

They need one more victory to become the 10th team to rally from a 3-1 postseason deficit.

"I've learned that our players are tough, they're mentally tough," Coach of the Year Steve Kerr said Sunday, when his team took a day off from film and practice. "I don't know if I really learned that. I already knew that. But they've firmly confirmed that. It's been a great comeback. Now we still have to play. We still have another game."

Kerr just wanted his Warriors to grab back some momentum from Kevin Durant and the Thunder. Now, they have it, all right, heading into the decisive game of the Western Conference finals Monday night after winning two straight.

When his team won Game 5 on Thursday night, MVP Stephen Curry hollered "We ain't going home!" -- and Golden State wants no part of the Thunder having the last say in the Warriors' summer plans.

"We got a big one last night to stay alive, and now we've got some momentum. But it can work in reverse," Kerr said. "One game changes everything, and we've got to come out and play our game and play well to finish the series out."

Golden State hardly considers this a gimmee just because the team is playing at deafening Oracle Arena, where the Warriors have lost just three times this season. They have had their problems against Durant, Russell Westbrook and the towering Thunder.

Oklahoma City is fueled by trying to reach its first NBA Finals since losing to LeBron James and the Miami Heat in 2012. James and Cleveland are waiting on Monday's winner.

"It's going to be a hard game. If we thought tonight was hard, Game 7's going to be even tougher," Curry said. "Everybody on both sides of the ball is going to leave it all out on the floor. It's win or go home. So we can't expect just because we're at home that we can just show up and win."

As has been the case all playoffs with Curry ailing, Golden State got a huge performance from Klay Thompson. He made a playoff-record 11 3-pointers and scored 41 points in a 108-101 win at Oklahoma City on Saturday night, and will need an encore Monday.

"Lot of people probably counted us out," Thompson said.

Kerr said last week that his group might be different than the all the other teams that have tried to come back from 3-1 down: because the Warriors won it all last year.

The Thunder certainly would have preferred to close out the series at home over traveling back across the country to the Bay Area for the deciding game.

Yet they never expected it to be easy against the 2015 champs.

"This is what you dream about, getting this opportunity. We've got to take advantage of it," Durant said Sunday. "Go up into their building, and it's going to be great atmosphere. ... No matter where you play, you've still got to play. That's how we look at it."

That's partly because first-year Thunder coach Billy Donovan has talked to his team about the mentality it takes to win in a hostile venue like raucous, sold-out Oracle Arena, and Oklahoma City came in and did it in Game 1.

"We lost Game 6, and it was a tough, hard-fought game," Donovan said. "We're disappointed about not having a different outcome. But we haven't lost the series, and we have an opportunity again. I think just being around these guys, they're a resilient group."

Curry and the Warriors expect another entertaining, great game.

From an ankle injury that sidelined him in the first round against Houston to a sprained right knee and puffy elbow, Curry has dealt with his share of pain this postseason. He has to push that aside for what he hopes is one more game this series and then a second straight trip to the Finals and another championship.

"I actually kind of like it, because you understand the moment of the playoffs and just kind of gets you going," he said. "I'll be ready to go and give it everything I've got for Game 7."

Report: P.J. Carlesimo won't join Sixers' coaching staff


Report: P.J. Carlesimo won't join Sixers' coaching staff

It doesn't sound like the Sixers' replacement for Mike D'Antoni will be the most rumored name for the position.

NBA coaching veteran P.J. Carlesimo has decided to not join Brett Brown's staff as associate head coach and instead will remain a television analyst, according to tweets Sunday night by ESPN's Mark Stein.

Stein added that despite "strong mutual interest," Carlesimo made the decision for family reasons.

The 67-year-old Carlesimo has spent parts of nine seasons as a head coach in the league and five more as an assistant. He was last on a NBA bench when he took over as the Brooklyn Nets' interim head coach in 2012-13.

So the Sixers still have a vacancy on their bench after D'Antoni, who joined the Sixers in the middle of last season after Jerry Colangelo joined the organization, signed on to become head coach of the Houston Rockets last week. Who the team's next choice for the role is remains to be seen.

NBA Notes: Grizzlies hire Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach


NBA Notes: Grizzlies hire Heat assistant David Fizdale as head coach

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The Grizzlies have hired David Fizdale as their new coach and will introduce him in Memphis at a news conference Tuesday.

Memphis announced the move Sunday. The hiring was first reported Thursday by The Associated Press and others. The Grizzlies did not disclose terms, but Yahoo! Sports reported Fizdale agreed to a four-year contract.

General manager Chris Wallace said in a statement that the Grizzlies are confident Fizdale is the right person to help Memphis build on its success.

Fizdale has spent the past eight years with the Miami Heat, the past two as assistant head coach to Erik Spoelstra.

The new Grizzlies coach says he feels fortunate to have worked with some of the NBA's greatest coaches and players and believes he's ready for the challenge of being a head coach (see full story).

Antetokounmpo brothers combine for 133 points in charity game vs. Porzingis
ATHENS, Greece -- NBA stars Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks and Kristaps Porzingis of the New York Knicks battled it out in Athens in a game of streetball Sunday, watched by a crowd of 5,000.

Played in an open court in Greece's largest public high school, the "Antetokounbros Streetball Event" ended 123-123. No overtime was played.

Porzingis scored 21 points but was overshadowed by team member Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Giannis' older brother, who scored 69. The two had played for a few games together last season, when Thanasis was signed by the Knicks on a 10-day contract. Giannis Antetokounmpo led the other team with 64 points. The other players were a mixture of veteran pros and amateurs.

On Saturday, Porzingis and the Antetonkoumpo brothers were given a private tour of the Acropolis Museum (see full story).