Tony Allen, one of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA. Go ahead and think that that’s not a true statement. Once you watch one game though, he will prove you wrong. He’s a gritty player and Memphis loves him for it. He embodies the kind of attitude you want from a player. Sure, he may not have all the offensive moves you might want from a shooting guard, but great defense is something you can’t argue against.
Many fans realized how much skill he really has when he played against Kevin Durant in the playoffs. He denied KD the ball, he played the passing lanes, forced turnovers, and caused Durant to miss a good amount of shots. Speaking of his defense on Kevin Durant, the video below shows highlights of a game against OKC where you can see Allen playing the type of hard-nosed defense he’s known for.
While looking at Tony Allen’s defensive ratings, one might say, “Well seeing a few ratings over 100 isn’t that great.” Think about this, Allen is always matched up with the best scorer on the other team. Even when he played great defense on Kevin Durant, it’s still Durant who will get his points no matter what defender is on him. Guarding players like that will always come with challenges no matter how good of a defender you are.
Watching Tony Allen’s defensive awareness on the floor is a spectacle on its own. If a player comes to screen him, he fights through it with all he has and makes sure that ball-handler doesn’t have an open look. He knows exactly when to fight over top of a pick and when to go under. He never leaves a shot uncontested and he plays the passing lanes like a ball-hawking safety in the NFL. Not only can he intercept passes, but he can pick the pocket of even the best ball-handlers in the game. This man is 6’4″ and he can play defense on players with the height of Kevin Durant all the way down to players at point guard. Tony Allen is a ferocious defender that any coach would love to have. I leave you with this highlight reel of Tony Allen’s career.