WALTHAM — Recovering from right knee surgery last season, Tony Allen rarely dunked in the dramatic fashion that made him a player to watch as a rookie during the 2004-05 season. It was his hesitancy, and seeming inability, to finish above the rim on fastbreaks that clearly signaled lingering pain and weakness in the injured knee. So, when Allen received a perfect pass from Rajon Rondo during practice today at the team training facility, dunked forcefully and hung onto the rim long enough to earn a technical from the rent-a-refs present, it was an encouraging sight. Allen looks a lot like his old self, though he promises bigger and better play as training camp progresses.
”I feel alright,” said Allen. ”I need more improvement, more strength. Then, I’ll be able to have a swagger. Right now, I don’t have my swagger back. I’ve just got to get stronger. It’s slowly but surely coming back. I’m not a psychic, but, when it comes, you’re going to know about it. When it gets to 100 percent, you’re going to know about it.”
And what about drawing the technical?
”[The referees] were playing,” said Allen. ”I let the rim go. I didn’t hang on it. But we’re not worried about that. We’re worried about getting better every day and helping my team win games. I just want to help my team whether it’s picking up Gatorades, hand claps, motivation, whatever it is.”