LaVoy Allen had a quiet rookie season during the regular campaign. Allen appeared to have stepped up his game come playoff time, and played a pivotal role in his defense against the Celtic’s Kevin Garnett in the Eastern Conference Semi’s. Coming out of Temple, Allen was known for his wide skill set, but was criticized for his low-motor and seemingly dispassionate play. At one point during the season ESPN rated Allen as the worst player in the League.
Through all of the mixed feelings of Allen’s play he logged quite a bit of playing time for a second round pick that nobody figured would get many minutes. He played in 41 games and started 15 of them, averaging a shade over 15 minutes per game. Allen got the opportunity to start after Hawes went down with an Achilles injury in January. Allen recorded a career high 15 points in a February 1 win against the Chicago bulls. He also brought down a career high 12 rebounds in a win over Milwaukee on April 25th.
Allen did not record a double double throughout the season, which may have been for his sporadic minutes. In the conference Semi’s he logged 22.6 minutes per game while recording averages of 7.3PPG and 5.3RPG. Allen did record a double double in his per 40 minutes statistics, with averages of 10.8 and 11.0 in points and rebounds respectively. If given the opportunity, Allen has the tools to average a double double with consistent minutes as his career goes on.
Allen plays with a cool demeanor which many experts knocked him for, but this came up big in the playoffs. Allen was virtually unfazed by the spotlight and pressure of playing the Celtics in the second round. He played stellar defense against Garnett and had a positive impact when given 25+ minutes. LaVoy did pick up quick fouls in the series, which is something he needs to improve upon.
LaVoy had a successful rookie campaign and will only continue to improve with time and experience. The Sixers struck gold in the draft in stealing a serviceable big man in the 2nd round. LaVoy proved he belongs in the NBA and will only get better. He should look to put on some muscle and lose some of the “baby fat” he carries which will make him an even more effective rebounder and defender. LaVoy is a lock to come back in 2013.
What should the 76ers do?: Retain him and sign a long-term deal.