Posts Tagged ‘Tony Allen

Grizzlies at Raptors Points Per Game: Gay, Davis non-factors against former teams; Memphis doesn’t mess around on defence; Telfair deal close

- February 21st, 2013

Memphis wasn’t about to let Rudy Gay show them up. The team double-teamed its former scoring leader and hounded him into a tough performance. Those gritty Grizz basically hounded everyone, including familiar target DeMar DeRozan, in one of the more hideous games you’ll see (thankfully) this season.

Tony Allen admitted he was fired up for the game after Gay said DeRozan, not Allen or O.J. Mayo, was the best shooting guard he’d ever played with. Allen’s a great competitor who looks for slights to fire him up. It worked, his defence was some of the best I’ve seen this season. After the game he praised the Raptors, saying it felt like a playoff game. It looked like one too at times, with scoring only a rumour and hand-to-hand combat more prevalent than made buckets.

Some thoughts:

- Not a good night for the Gay-DeRozan combo after a string of good games. Memphis bottled them up and forced them into bad shots all evening. The Raptors badly need a consistent outside threat to take pressure off of them. Andrea Bargnani isn’t that guy and now he’s being booed by the ACC faithful at every turn. That’s not a good development, as it’s highly unlikely the Raptors pull off a trade by today’s deadline involving Bargnani.

- Still impressed by the compete level of Jonas Valanciunas.

- Good to see Ed Davis, who looked quite a bit happier than the last time I saw him in Atlanta. Davis was crushed that night, with news of his trade to Memphis still settling in and after an emotional goodbye with his teammates. You can tell he’s still adjusting to his new digs and life on the bench after vaulting into the spotlight as a starter in Toronto. Life apart from best friend DeRozan has been a challenge, but he’s starting to get more comfortable in Memphis and is finally going to move out of his hotel and into a place. He’s looking forward to being in the playoffs.

“It’s going to be my first time in the playoffs. Just being a part of it is going to be great,” Davis said.

I asked Davis about the difference between Toronto, where Dwane Casey wants his team to have a defensive identity, and Memphis, where Lionel Hollins helms the second-best defensive group in the NBA.

“We’ve got a lot of defensive-minded, tough guys on this team and that helps when you have guys that just want to preach defence,” he said.

- Tony Allen on preparing for Rudy Gay:

“Ain’t going to be like nothing. Just like preparing for a regular game, you see I’m watching? Some of the things he’s doing. That’s all. Just a regular routine of a scout,” Allen told me, while watching video on his iPad of Gay’s favourite moves. Allen’s lockdown defence isn’t just something that magically happens. Sure he’s a great athlete with tremendous intensity, but the man studies his opponents like few others.

- Though Gay and Davis kind of downplayed the return beforehand, and neither ended up playing well, their coaches knew this game meant extra to them.

“It’s going to be emotional. Anybody that says it’s not is not being totally honest,” Casey said beforehand.

“You always want to do well when you go back and face your old team. It doesn’t change anything, but it makes you feel good to go and put it on them,” Hollins said.

“We have guys here, Jerryd Bayless and Ed Davis and Toronto has Rudy Gay, and somewhat Kyle Lowry, although he’s one team removed, he still likes to play well against us.”

- One more thought as Sebastian Telfair is close to becoming a Raptor for a second-round pick. If it’s a pick that actually is going to be conveyed it’s an odd move. Telfair will help, but John Lucas III is playing well. Seconds aren’t massive assets, but they are assets nonetheless and teams strike gold with them once in a while. But not if they don’t have them. In a cap world with penalties for exceeding the cap and getting into the luxury tax getting more punishing each year, cheap assets help. Dealing a pick for a two-month rental in a season that is basically done anyway (in terms of making the playoffs) seems unnecessary.