OKC Thunder: What kind of adjustments must the Thunder make to solve the Tony Allen problem?

by Anthony Slater Published: April 22, 2014

But the problem is, that’s rare with Allen. He’s probably the best in the league at dodging screens and slithering through cracks to make sure he stays connected to his man.

“One thing about it is, he don’t want the guy to catch the ball,” Perkins said of Allen, his former teammate in Boston. “He gonna deny, deny, deny. But once you catch the ball, you can go to work on him.”

And that opens up another potentially appealing way for the Thunder to attack him.

Durant is taller and longer than the 6-foot-4 Allen, meaning the post seems like an ideal place to plant him. But when the Thunder tried that in Game 2, it mostly led to problems. Two terrible entry passes resulted in Allen steals, and a few other times, Durant failed to establish his position deep enough.

“He’s gotta set up shop lower,” Perkins explained.

In the first two games, Durant got his numbers – 69 points and 11 assists – but it came in an inefficient and tiring way. He has gone 10-of-18 against everyone else but only 9-of-25 against Allen, according to ESPN.

“It’s not like I’m getting totally locked down,” a surly Durant said, growing more agitated with each Allen question. “It’s not like I’ve been nonexistent. I don’t know what you guys have been watching.”

But such is the life for a soon-to-be MVP. Because of the ridiculously efficient standards he created throughout the season, that kind of dip has an adverse effect on one of the league’s best offenses.

The reason why Durant is so good is because he rarely needs many shots to put up 30-plus points. But in the first two games, he’s needed 53 for his 69 points – solid by NBA standards, but below average in KD’s ridiculous realm. Plus, the simple task of getting him the ball in the halfcourt has led to turnover issues and shortened shot clocks.

And much of that is because of Tony Allen – a problem that Eddie Sutton helped create and his favorite NBA team must now solve.

*Click here for a film room breakdown of Tony Allen's defense on Kevin Durant*


by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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