A Wheeler’s Opinion: Tony Allen Deserves the Jersey Retirement

Because he’s a great defender. Just ask Kobe. You’ll know

Even one of the greatest scorers in the NBA had a hard time playing against Tony Allen.

Who the hell is Tony Allen anyway and why is his jersey getting a retirement in Memphis when the New Orleans Pelicans, a team where Allen is now playing for, visits the Grizzlies for the first time since Allen and Memphis parted ways? 
For starters, Tony Allen is a guy whose points per game average only reached double figures once, during the 2006-2007 season, his 3rd in the league with the Boston Celtics when he normed 11 points per game. Despite being a part of the Celtics team that won the 2008 NBA championship against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, despite the fact that Tony Allen has yet to win an MVP award, the one thing which the Grizzlies loved and the opponents’ best offensive players hate and will continue to hate about Tony Allen is the way he makes the player he is guarding frustrated with his defense.
To give you an idea as to how even the NBA acknowledged the fact that Tony Allen is indeed, among the elite stoppers that the league has ever seen, the “GrindFather” a nickname that was given to Allen, was included in the NBA All-Defensive Team, 6 times- 3 with the 1st All-Defensive Team and 3 with the 2nd All-Defensive Team. 
He also led the league in steals per game, twice, the recent one being last season when he stole the ball 3 times on the average. He ranked 2nd among active players in steals and was also in the top 10 in that category, for 5 seasons. If any of you don’t think Tony Allen deserves a jersey retirement ceremony for his great defensive efforts during his playing years with Memphis, then nothing will.
If there is one scorer, one of the best and most creative scorers to step foot in the NBA- who appreciates Tony Allen for the kind of defensive player that he is, that player is none other than the Black Mamba himself, Kobe Bryant. In fact, Kobe even admitted back in 2015 that Tony Allen was one of the few guys who caused him troubles during his 2-decade stint with the Lakers. Kobe has, in fact, considered Allen as the “Kobe Stopper” and even sent the latter a pair of signed sneakers as a token of appreciation and mutual respect.
Tony Allen has yet to win a Defensive Player of the Year award- something that basketball pundits around the world thought he deserves more than any defenders in the NBA. He may never get to win one with the Pelicans but one thing is sure: he will continue to bring in the same level of defensive intensity as well as his winning track once the 2017-2018 season kicks off soon because when you are guarded by a Tony Allen, chances are: you will have a long shooting night. 
There’s no shortcut to being a premier defender especially with the likes of Kevin Durant and LeBron James around. There’s none. Really. If you want to learn how to defend the best player of your opponents and you don’t have the height, look at Tony Allen, folks. 
Watch and learn from one of the best wing defenders in the history of the NBA.
Congratulations, Tony!

By the Numbers: The 3 Ugly Truths Behind Ginebra’s Collapse in Game 2

Electrifying D Won Game 2

Because you cannot win without playing DEFENSE

Greg Slaughter Defended well

Just when everyone thought that the defending champions would take a commanding 2-0 series lead in front of a favorable crowd in Batangas, the Talk N Text KaTropa immediately went to work right after the tip-off, built a double-digit lead in the early goings of the game, kept their composure intact when the Gin Kings were able to make a comeback and even momentarily took the lead and in the end, the KaTropa were able to hang onto a 103-93 Game 2 victory over the Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings which knotted the series at 1-1. 
Had TNT lost the game last night, they would be in a  tight situation coming into tomorrow’s Game 3 because it would mean that they need to win 3 straight games against the same team just to get to the Finals of the PBA Governors’ Cup. Fortunately, the players of Coach Nash Racela did many things right, things that they didn’t do in the series opener that put them in a better position to challenge the champs.

Kelly Williams shot

Kelly Williams had 8 defensive rebounds, 2 steals and a block in Game 2. (Photo by the PBA Media Bureau)
While field goal shooting was an area where both the KaTropa and the Gin Kings were equal, shooting 44% and 46% in the field respectively, it was the defense of Talk N Text that gave them an 18-point lead and consequently, defense won them the game in the 4th quarter.

The Numbers that Won Game 2:

19 Forced (and Unforced) Turnovers

Simply put it this way, folks. If you force your opponents into making those costly turnovers especially during the playoffs, it means that your team’s defense is working to perfection. And that was what exactly happened last night. The KaTropa were pressing the Gin Kings at every turn and that pressing defense forced 19 turnovers by the Gin Kings which Talk N Text converted into 23 points. Greg Slaughter had 5 of those turnovers as he was constantly defended by two defenders every time he gets in the post. Classic defense. Still effective. And as a result of their frustrations, there were noticeable times when the Gin Kings threw bad passes. Effect: Unforced turnovers. Another effect: 20 fastbreak points for TNT.

14 Points for Ginebra in the First Quarter

If anything, having a good start in any basketball game is essential to victory and if we are to look back in Game 1, the Gin Kings scored 31 points in the first 12 minutes of the game. Last night, it was the KaTropa who scored 31 points in the first frame but unlike in the first game where they were able to score 22 points, Talk N Text, this time around, defended well early on and limited Ginebra to 14 first quarter points. 

10 Steals

Let’s face it. The Gin  Kings are a talented team with the most winningest coach in the history of the PBA in Tim Cone. But that, however, does not make them a perfect team and the KaTropa made sure that the rest of the PBA saw that as they were able to steal the ball from Ginebra ball handlers, 10 TIMES. There were 3 players who had 2 steals each in Game 2, namely Troy Rosario, Kelly Williams and, Roger Pogoy who scored 14 points off the bench. Glen Rice Jr. the league’s leader in steals per game this conference, had 1 steal.

Here is the game 2 recap TNT vs Ginebra.

Star Hotshots Admits Excellent Ginebra Defense Took the Game Away from Them

Photo by PBA Media Bureau

After a display of their own version of defensive approach, the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel had a great control of the game limiting the game to a low scoring match against the Star Hotshots. Known to be the master of the Triangle Offense, Tim Cone is also an expert of making adjustments before and during the game depending on what should be done and shouldn’t be done.
The Star Hotshots admits that the excellent defense execution of Ginebra is the reason why they were below their average point production and had them go over their average turn overs. They average 13 turnovers per game but during their game on Wednesday, it increased to a number that they’re also surprised about and ended up realizing that it was the tight defense of Ginebra that caused them to turn the ball over.
Players like Marc Pingris, Paul Lee and Maliksi admitted that Ginebra’s defense has given them a hard time executing what they draw on the boards during their practice and had the rattled in getting people In their right places.
As expected, Ginebra coach Tim Cone said that the major adjustments have developed during their viewing and has taught them that if they were beaten by Star two times in a row, they can definitely do it to them as well. As the Star Hotshots continue their quest in finally getting another finals appearance they will have to figure out a way and an antidote to this Ginebra stops and provide necessary adjustments in game.