Lavoy Allen’s rookie season in the NBA could be described in many ways. Ask Allen and his response is simply one word: “Amazing.”
For the 6-foot-10 forward from Temple, the 2011-12 season soon became a blur. In a good way.
Allen went from not playing at all to becoming one of the Sixers’ key contributors in the playoffs, especially against the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Allen proved his mettle so much that the Sixers signed him to a two-year, $6 million contract in the offseason.
“It’s been a great experience for me, but I’m not satisfied by any means,” said Allen, who wound up with 15 starts during the 66-game season. “I’m working just as hard, if not harder. I don’t feel like I’ve reached my potential at all. I still have a lot of work to do, and it’s great to be able to do that here with the Sixers.”
Allen became the Sixers’ best low post defender by the end of the season and continued that throughout the playoffs. With the addition of Andrew Bynum and Kwame Brown, the Sixers are suddenly bigger and stronger than they were a season ago.
“Oh man, I go against Lavoy in practice a lot and he’s deceptively strong,” said Sixers forward/center Spencer Hawes. “He’s hard to move out of the low block. He’s got great footwork and balance, and he’s tough. He’ll battle you all the way.”
Allen is unflappable. Nothing seems to bother him, according to coach Doug Collins.
Is that true?
“I would say so,” Allen said with a wry smile before turning serious. “I just go to work and try not to let anything on the outside get in my head. I’m about business when it’s time to go to work. We have a lot to build on from last season, and I want to be a big part of it.”