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Toward the end of last year, Tony Allen seemed to fully recover from his knee injury that sidelined him for much of the 06-07 season, which had appeared to be the beginnings of a breakout year. He showed flashes in 07-08, punctuated by that great 360-degree dunk to finish of the Lakers in the finals last year, and seemed ready to take the next step.
Allen was my guy of choice to be the new sixth man after the loss of James Posey. Last October, at the start of the season, Allen did take on that role for a while until injury struck again. Allen ended up only playing in 46 games this past year and still has yet to realize his immense talent.
Throughout the course of the year, Allen pretty much appeared to just eat some minutes while Paul Pierce or Ray Allen rested, as he usually came in for one of them. He averaged 7.8 points, 2.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists in 19.3 minutes per game this season. Overall, his numbers were better than last season’s, but Allen still has yet to really capitalize on his raw talent, and I really thought this would be the season he could do it.
During the playoffs, Allen was almost completely ineffective. He averaged 0.9 points, 0.9 rebounds, 0.3 assists per game while appearing in just six minutes per game. The time for Allen to make his mark is running out as he is about to come into his sixth season with the Celts.
He lost his chance to be that sixth man with Glen “Big Baby” Davis emerging as a very strong player and Bill Walker gaining popularity and skill very quickly. Allen has had successful ankle surgery already this offseason to repair his injured ankle, and will be ready for training camp later this summer/fall. Hopefully he will try again to put up those numbers he had for a little while in 2006.