Tony Allen Gives Golden State & Klay Thompson Fits

by Fred Pahlke | Posted on Friday, May 8th, 2015

Memphis Grizzlies’ Tony Allen (9) scores against the Golden State Warriors during the fourth quarter in Game 2 in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Tuesday, May 5, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. (Ben Margot/Associated Press)

Most national media has pegged Golden State as the probable Western Conference finalist but if you discount the Memphis Grizzles and what they bring on the defensive side of the ball you might re-consider. Perimeter defense and the best on-ball defender in the Association in the Grizzly outback in Tony Allen, Memphis is a battle worn playoff experienced monster. Memphis is a solid choice to upset the Warriors in their 2nd round series.

The presence of Tony Allen, a first-time NBA defensive stalwart is wrecking havoc with the shooting of Golden State’s hotshot Klay Thompson, enough so that Warrior GM has commented that he has never seen his 2nd star perform so disjointed.

“I’ve never seen him that off in a game,” West told the San Jose Mercury News. “All year long, he never played like that.

“I think Klay is someone who takes everything personal – he wants to succeed so much, he tries so hard … and (Tuesday) he just did not have it. … Give Memphis credit, they are not going to let those two guys beat them … It really comes down to someone else on the team making shots. Someone has to.”

Thompson comes off a 6-15 and 1-6 three point shooting performance going into Saturday’s contest in Memphis. Combined with a 2-11 game by Stephen Curry, the Warriors went 3 for 17 long range in the 97-90 beat down by Memphis. Golden State won’t win any games if both sharp shooters are cold such as that.

Asked if Tony Allen is in his head, Thompson’s remarks were:

“You know what I think now? That’s all I’ve got to say,” he finally said. “In my head? Come on, man.” He was wincing and rolling his eyes as he gave his answer.

As for Allen, his defensive skill level is as high as any player on the planet. Known for going toe to toe with Kobe Bryant and Kevin Durant in past history, Allen gives no quarter. Durant has said that Allen is the toughest defender he has ever had to face. With the next two games in Memphis, Golden State is on the fence and needs to win on Saturday or the following Tuesday night. A couple of losses in Memphis might be curtains for this fairly inexperienced playoff team. Memphis in six.

About the Author

Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 61 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder and expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A graduate of Oklahoma City University. Elementary School Principal in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years.

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