Either Doc Rivers is a master of deception, or Tony Allen really had no idea he would be playing any kind of role tonight against the Nuggets.
Not far down in this blog, Rivers spent part of his pregame press conference discussing why Allen would not be seeing minutes for the forseeable future. There were other guys ahead of Allen. Nate Robinson, Michael Finley, and Marquis Daniels had done more to earn minutes than Allen.
But there was Allen, less than three minutes into the second quarter, checking in for Daniels, who had just picked up his second foul. With Paul Pierce already on the bench with two fouls, Rivers’s hand was forced.
“I didn’t think Marquis was playing great, and I thought we needed more energy,” said Rivers..
He got it. Allen scored 10 points in 7:45 in the first half, helping to propel the Celtics to a 10-point lead despite Pierce’s foul trouble. Allen would finish the game with 13 points, missing only one shot from the field.
“I just look at it like, they’ve got a quiet assassin on the bench, and whenever you want to unleash him, he’s going to be ready,” said Allen. “Ain’t no frustration over here, because I know what I’m capable of.”
Allen is most known for his defense, and he played a big part in holding the Nuggets under 100 points.
“I had a few assignments — Chauncey [Billups], Carmelo [Anthony], J.R. Smith,” said Allen. “I was just trying to crowd their air space, make them make passes, and make other guys beat us.”
Said Paul Pierce, “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 … Tonight was a night that we needed him.”
Tony Allen. One of the stars of the game. Who would have thought?