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Friday, April 19, 2013

EXIT INTERVIEW: Lavoy Allen's improvement hinges upon critical offseason

(Associated Press)
Whether it's his playing style, which gives off a lackadaisical impression, or his deadpan style of humor, Lavoy Allen often rubs people the wrong way.

Fans look at Allen, who recently finished the first season of a two-year, $6 million contract, and wonder 'what could be' if only the 6-9 forward asserted himself some more. His former coach, Doug Collins, wondered the same thing, always questioning Allen's “motor.”

Allen labored through a sophomore season in which he failed to meet the expectations others set out before him. He averaged 5.8 points and 5.0 rebounds per game in 79 games played, including 37 starts. The absence of Andrew Bynum put even more pressure on Allen to perform, but that didn't seem to take hold with the Temple product.

“The one guy that really needs to (improve) is Lavoy,” Collins said. “Lavoy is very important to this franchise. If Lavoy will bounce back and have a good year next year, and you put Lavoy and Spencer (Hawes) out there, and Thad (Young) and Arnett (Moultrie), you've got four young bigs and how can you keep adding to that?”

Allen, who said he'll take two weeks off before beginning his offseason workouts, will focus on his strength and conditioning drills in the offseason. Allen has shown a preference for launching outside shots. Sure, he can hit them, but he's unable to harness the full potential of that facet of his game because of his reluctance to put the ball on the floor and drive every now and then. Allen shot 33 percent (152-for-444) from 10 feet to just inside the arc.

Quick assessment: The Sixers would be thrilled to get eight points and six rebounds per game from Allen, but they never seem to know what they're going to get from him. He scored in single digits in 60 of his 79 appearances and pulled in single-digit rebound totals in 75 of 79 games played. Strength and conditioning would improve Allen's approach to rebounding while also helping him feel a little more comfortable going to the rim to score.

It's an important offseason for Allen, and it'll be interesting to see how he uses the downtime to improve his game.

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