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Tony Allen is watching broadcast replays during game to find an edge

May 27, 2013, 11:49 AM EDT

Grizzlies' Tony Allen celebrates on the bench during the third quarter in Game 3 of their NBA Western Conference final playoff basketball series against the San Antonio Spurs in Memphis Reuters

There are certain things Tony Allen does. Play his pregame music at deafening volume, for one. Watch a lot of film to gain a defensive edge, for another.

Allen is even trying to watch some film during games against the Spurs to gain an edge.

That from a great note by Gregg Doyel of

At every timeout, Tony Allen did the same thing. The Memphis Grizzlies were gathering at their bench, forming a semi-circle around coach Lionel Hollins, but Allen walked away from his team and toward the other team. Toward the Spurs…

I watched this happen twice. But for the third timeout, I looked away from Allen, toward the Spurs’ bench. What was he staring at? What were they doing down there, anyway?

And then I saw it. This big TV screen, maybe 35 inches, sitting at midcourt. It was the screen used by the referees to study replays, and it was aimed at the Grizzlies’ bench. The Spurs’ bench was behind the TV, but it dawned on me: Allen wasn’t watching the Spurs; he was watching the TV. He was watching the replays.

As you likely know, television broadcasts are on a several second delay from real time. And as you also know, before a broadcast goes to timeout there is almost always a replay of a recent key play shown as the broadcasters give the score and say they will be right back.

Allen was watching those replays looking for an edge. You have got to love that. It’s a great story.

Unfortunately for him, the edge the Grizzlies need in this series can’t be found on tape. As well as Memphis has played, their need for perimeter shooting has been greatly exposed this series as the Spurs have all but ignored Allen and Tayshaun Prince on the wings to provide more support inside. The Grizzlies have tried to counter with Quincy Pondexter, but that brings other concerns. (And don’t say that’s where the Grizzlies miss Rudy Gay — he shot 32 percent from three this season and the Spurs would gladly have let him take his mediocre outside shot all game long.)

But Allen is still the kind of guy you want on your team — a ferocious defender who is always looking for an edge. Which is why the Grizzlies need to find a way to bring the unrestricted free agent back.

  1. eboneseagles - May 27, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    He’s good for 9 points and great defensive intensity every game, could get a big deal considering how crappy the SG position is.

  2. nbascreed - May 27, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    1. No. You don’t have to love that. It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard. Unless you know WHAT to do with data collecting it ad infinitum makes no sense.

    2. Tony Allen is now like Ron Artest. He’s at the point where his rep as a defender is actually greater than his current prowess as a defender. Truth is he’s not that good at locking down offenders at an elite level anymore.

    3. The fact is this is NOT football. Studying tape on an offenders habits is ONLY useful if you have the elite physical skill to go along with your understanding of offenders’ habits. Tony can watch all the tape he wants to on Tony Parker. On the flight home, before the game, after the game, during the half, etc. It does NOT matter. He no longer (if ever) has the physical prowess to deal with TP’s speed so whatever advantage he gains is de minimis at best.

    Thumbs down this analysis if you’ve never played basketball at a relatively high level and are a fan who believes in the Tony Allen meme.

    • redbaronx - May 28, 2013 at 2:48 AM

      @nbascreed – Your comments are really stupid and I’m going to break it down.

      1) Tony Allen moves his feet. Ron Artest doesn’t have foot speed anymore, and he is a mental headache. Comparing Tony Allen to Metta World Fleece is an insult just like comparing Tony Parker to Gilbert Arenas. It’s a stupid comparison.
      2) Tony Allen is an EXCELLENT defender. Memphis didn’t lose to the Spurs because of any deficiencies Tony has. Memphis lost because:
      A – They don’t have an elite playmaker (With apologies to Mike Conley who is still a good average NBA point guard)
      B – Memphis has no outside shooting
      C – Memphis doesn’t have enough all around offensive firepower
      D – Lets be clear. There are few guards IN THE NBA that can deal with Tony Parker. Maybe Rondo and Westbrook who have the foot speed and the lateral and horizontal movement, but the list is VERY short. Lets face it. Tony Parker is one of the most underrated guys in the NBA, and if he wasn’t playing in San Antonio, he’d be a superstar. He was the reason San Antonio won in 2007, and if they win this year, he’ll be at the center of it too.
      E – Tony Allen had the unenviable task of being one of the few players on the Memphis roster that Memphis could TRY to throw at Tony Parker. Who else on that roster is going to guard him? Mike Conley??

      Before you bad mouth a player for not being able to stop one of the best guards in the NBA by comparing him to Ron Artest, maybe you should stay away from trying to analyze and just enjoy the game. Kurt Helin may suck at punctuation and makes mistakes writing his articles and gets facts wrong from time to time, but he was totally on the money in this article, and YOUR “analysis” sucks! Stick to being a fan!

  3. rickyspanish - May 27, 2013 at 5:02 PM


    More like “thumbs down a pretentious know-it-all”.

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