Monday, May 6th, 2013 at 11:50 am  |  16 responses

Tony Allen Wants to Guard Kevin Durant

When the chips were down on the table in Game 1 against the Memphis Grizzlies, Kevin Durant took over (35 points, 15 rebounds, 6 assists and the game-sealing jumper). Despite his coach insisting that defensive assignment will continue to be Tayshaun Prince’s, Tony Allen wouldn’t mind taking a run at slowing KD. Per the Commercial Appeal: “Grizzlies guard Tony Allen has defended Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant in the past, but don’t expect a steady diet of that strategy, if at all, in the Western Conference semifinals. Griz coach Lionel Hollins made it clear Sunday afternoon that he’s content with using Tayshaun Prince and other players to try and slow the smooth-scoring Durant. Allen’s primary focus likely will be to contain Thunder guard Kevin Martin throughout the best-of-seven series. ‘(Durant) took Tony to the post and caused us to help way too much in the regular season,’ Hollins said. Although Durant found little resistance while playing out of the post position against the 6-9 Prince, Hollins stayed with taller players in throwing multiple defensive looks at the 6-11 Durant. Allen is listed at 6-4. Prince mostly guarded Durant. But Quincy Pondexter (6-6) and even Darrell Arthur (6-9) tried to slow Durant to no avail. None of this means Allen wouldn’t mind a crack at the NBA’s runner-up for scoring champ and Most Valuable Player. ‘Don’t be surprised with anything. We might try anything,’ Allen said. ‘Don’t be surprised if I’m able to lock up with him.’”

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  • RayJr

    Good luck with that. KD would abuse him just like anyone else.

  • lights out

    TA might well be the best on the ball defender in the L. plus his physicality could give durant a little trouble. i could see this being a good move for the grizzlies.

  • pposse

    Tayshaun Prince showed zero resistance against KD; it would be wise to notice this right now and consider making an adjustment asap coach.

  • spit hot fiyah

    now he has to back this up, it is almost his only chance to get a lot of minutes in this series. his inability to shoot makes it really hard for hollins to play him. they need spacing when they try to go through gasol and z-bo. bayless and pondexter are much more valuable in that regard

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Not necessarily. Allen played the best defence I’ve ever seen on Prime Kobe since Prime Tayshaun Prince.

    Many people here even argued his nomination as DPOY. I wouldn’t underestimate Allen’s defensive effect. Especially now that Memphis has this adjustment period, Allen will simply become the vanguard of Memphis’ exceptional team defence which will be predicated mostly on quelling Durant (given his scoring 35/93 OKC points, hahahaha).

  • patrick

    isn’t Prince like 35? too old much? hello? lol

  • Dagger

    We all know Allen is a great defender, but he’s 6’4″. Not as big of a deal when guarding Kobe as it is when guarding a guy who’s basically 7′.

    Of course, guarding a guy like Durant will always be a team effort. In that context I have a hard time seeing how Allen will be much better than Prince while guarding KD.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    bruh, Kevin Durant is 6’9, he would shoot 11-15 from the perimeter if tony Allen guarded him a full game….no disrespect to Tony, but KD jumper is WET.

  • LakeShow

    Breeehhh, your dumb.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    Allen’s athleticism compensates for his lack of height. Combined with his natural physicality, he’ll give Durant more problems than you think. Allen can contest Durant off the dribble far more effectively than Prince at this stage of the latter’s career which will have Durant thinking about him even before he rises to shoot whereupon Allen will either put a hand in his face or be well-placed enough to contest the shot’s trajectory.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    no it doesn’t. even lionel hollins said as much.

  • Mack

    Allen can stay in front of most NBA wings and is strong enough to defend physical small forwards, but Durant is on another planet when it comes to defendability. KD is 6-10 with a 7-4 wingspan, Tony Allen is 6-4 with a 6-9 wingspan; note the significant size difference.

    IMO the best way to defend Durant without help is having someone similar in build and height to him (i.e Tayshaun Prince, Rudy Gay, LeBron James, etc.) that can contest his jump shots with a hand in his mug. Tony Allen can hold his own all he wants on the box against Durant but he’s not stopping his fadeaway or his pull-up jumper without help. I’d keep Prince on him and have Allen worry about Kevin Martin or Reggie Jackson.

  • http://twitter.com/1993Freckles Conor O’Hara

    I’m not saying Allen should be the sole defender on Durant, but he should be the one who picks him up from the tip. He should hound him up and down the court (full-court, barring foul trouble), intensify his difficulty dribbling, and when – as you said – he attempts a fadeaway (ideally near the elbows): have a secondary or tertiary Grizzly in position to help alter the trajectory even more significantly.

    In terms of pullups – if it’s in the halfcourt – Allen is good enough of a defender to contest it as best he may and hope Durant is affected by it. On a break, it’s an unstoppable circumstance.

  • LP @ThisisEther

    Thank you, my ugly friend.

  • dacre

    I would rather have Allen defend durant and send a double team everytime then have durant go for an easy 39 get durant to try and beat you with 11 assists instead of 40 points.

  • LakeShow