Allen leads Boston over Nuggests
25 Mar 2010 - 12:19
(Islam Times) - Tony Allen answers Doc Rivers' call and takes it to the Denver Nuggets.
Islam Times reports from the Boston Herald: Coming into last night’s game against the Denver Nuggets, it would have been hard to decide which would be the bigger upset - Tony Allen getting significant minutes, or Gino getting to play at all.
But while the game night staff, for lack of a late timeout, had to wait until the final buzzer to let Gino dance on the big board, it was Allen who struck up the band. Unhappy with what he was getting from Marquis Daniels, Doc Rivers turned to Allen, who provided 13 points and seven pounds of defense in 20 minutes.
“I thought Tony Allen, honestly, was the star of the game,” said Rivers. “I thought he turned the game around for us with his energy, with his defense.”
And with his refusal to sink into the scenery. T.A. had become almost T.A. (totally absent) since the arrival of Michael Finley. Allen said in a recent Herald story that “all I can do is be a teammate and cheer my teammates on and not be a cancer to the team.”
Last night, he did a bit more than that. His T.A. (tireless aggression) ignited the operation. He came into a tie game for Daniels with 9:13 left in the second quarter. When he took a Rajon Rondo [stats] pass and laid the ball in with one-tenth of a second left, the Celtics [team stats] had a 10-point halftime lead.
“Well, I just look at it like they got a quiet assassin, and whenever you all want to unleash him, he’s going to be ready,” Allen said after hitting 5-of-6 shots from the floor for the night. “Ain’t no frustration over here, because I know what I’m capable of doing.
“Basically, I’ve just been listening to the coaches - stay ready, stay ready, stay ready. That’s what I’ve been doing, conditioning my body, working on my game with the coaches and the strength coach. Today was a day my number got called and I took advantage of it.”
Not only did his mates notice what Allen did against the Nuggets, they have been watching him as he handled as well as possible his shove to the far reaches of the pine.
“I really commended Tony because as a young player, when you sit and you don’t play for a few games, it can bother you,” said Paul Pierce [stats]. “The good thing about it, he’s been getting extra work in. He’s been getting to the gym, getting his shots in and he’s been staying ready.
“Tonight was a night that we needed him. That’s the type of team we have. Just his professionalism, for being in the league for six or seven years, however long he’s been here (six). A younger player probably would have got really down and wouldn’t have been able to focus when his number was called. But he stayed professional, and when his number was called he was ready. And that’s what we need from everybody.”
The Celtics needed defense, and Allen got up close and personal with a variety of Nuggets - Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith and Chauncey Billups among them.
“His energy was off the charts,” said Kevin Garnett. “I thought he was aggressive. He put the onus on Melo obviously when he was in there guarding him. He put the pressure on the defense, and that’s what you want, to be aggressive.”
And have your head in the game, even if you’re not.
“Where to me Tony has really grown up is that he didn’t pout,” said Rivers. “(He) worked every day and was always the first guy on the bench cheering.”
In that the Celtics haven’t had many practices lately, that cheering part was evidently rather important.
Now that he’s playing, he should, of course, keep working on his game even on days like today when the club is off. And if Doc is going to keep noticing team spirit, maybe it would be wise for the Celtics cheerleaders to work on their jump shots.