Temple coach Fran Dunphy
is a regular visitor at PCOM,
the 76ers’ practice facility.
The Owls’ ties to Philly’s professional team are deep.
One of Dunphy’s current players, T.J. DiLeo, is the son of Sixers general
manager Tony DiLeo. And one of Dunphy’s former players, Lavoy Allen, is in
Sixers coach Doug Collins’ rotation.
Collins said recently that he seeks the input of Dunphy
in attempting to get the most of Allen, whose laid-back demeanor and cool
personality on the floor doesn’t always lead to the best performances.
“I always try to pick people’s
brains,” Collins said recently. I try to reach out and have people help me be a
better coach. If someone has a way of handling a guy or just knows him, I mean,
Fran comes to our practices all the time. (Dunphy) will say to me, ‘That’s
Lavoy. I was on his tail and this, that and whatever. But that’s Lavoy.’
“Today, I’d like to go home
and have a Lavoy Allen day one afternoon. I kid him about that. I wish my brain
could shut off and just go, ‘Hey, good day.’ It’s all good. The flipside of
that is under pressure, he’s a tremendous player. That personality, under
pressure in the playoffs, when (Boston’s) Kevin Garnett is screaming in his
face, he just sort of looks at him like, ‘No big deal.’ And that’s a good
thing. Can we have that energy and that nice demeanor? That’s the perfect fit
Whatever Dunphy has said to
Collins about Allen may have triggered something, because the second-year
forward – who got off to a rocky start this season – has played with a renewed
sense of worth lately. His season-best totals in minutes (29) and rebounds (8)
came Nov. 16 against Utah, his season-best tallies in field goals (6) and
points (14) were against Detroit Nov. 14, and his season-high in blocked shots
(2) occurred Nov. 18 against Cleveland.
The Sixers need more from
Allen, especially with so much uncertainty surrounding Andrew Bynum.
“Lavoy is a huge part of our team.
Without Andrew Bynum being able to play, Lavoy Allen and Kwame Brown are
essential for our team to have a chance about being a winning team,” Collins
“All of a sudden, I’m starting
to see the Lavoy from last year, and that’s exciting. … When you’re a
high-motor guy like I am, it’s hard to look at somebody and say, ‘How can they
be low energy?’ It’s sometimes the way people are wired. That isn’t bad. I’m
not asking him to crash off walls, just bring that energy – get loose balls,
make that extra play. Lavoy wants to win. He’s as good of a teammate as we have
on this team. I told Lavoy, ‘The curse of showing me how good you can be is a
curse because that’s now what I expect.’ That’s all I ever ask. My job is to
try to be the max of what he can be and fit it all together.”
Labels: Doug Collins, Fran Dunphy, Kevin Garnett, Lavoy Allen, Tony DiLeo