The Pacers know what they’re going to get from Lavoy Allen. He isn’t as athletic as Rakeem Christmas. He can’t finish hooks shots around the rim (37.5%) like Kevin Seraphin (55.3%). He doesn’t draw double coverage like Al Jefferson, and he isn’t capable of closing out to shooters as fast as Thaddeus Young. However, one particular maxim usually holds true:
How did Lavoy Allen impress?
He grabbed 13.7 percent of Indiana’s misses — the highest individual offensive rebounding rate on the Blue & Gold’s roster. Per Synergy, he also corralled the highest percentage of contested rebounding chances. Given that the Pacers ranked 24th in offensive rebounding rate and 25th in total rebound percentage, Allen’s willingness to crash the glass was a skill in obvious short supply.
How did Lavoy Allen disappoint?
At issue, though, was that he only shot 51.4 percent on putbacks, a mark which was down from 62.7 percent a season ago and places him in the 23rd percentile league-wide. That’s a problem, because he didn’t score efficiently by any other means this season, either.
Granted, when opponents would force Jeff Teague away from the middle of the floor, he was respectable from the zone near the free throw line on only 15 attempts. But, generally speaking, he shot a rather miserable 35 percent from mid-range.
This, in part, is why the various combinations of double-plodder lineups were so awkward and unwieldy. According to the NBA’s lineup data, the Pacers posted a negative net rating (minus-11.2) when Lavoy Allen was on the floor with Al Jefferson, and they got outscored by a humongous 20.4 points per 100 possessions in the 93 minutes that Lavoy Allen and Kevin Seraphin played together.
Albeit, parking Allen’s big body on the opposing low block was bad for spacing, but defending the 3-point line with two traditional bigs tethered to each other was arguably harder to work around. The 28-year-old blitzes well on principle, but his lack of mobility makes it difficult for him to hedge and recover.
Take this possession against the Phoenix Suns, for instance. With Paul George sidelined with ankle soreness and C.J. Miles tweaking his knee mid-contest, Allen was forced to check Jared Dudley’s stretch shooting by default. Try as he might, Allen can’t slow down the ball-handler and closeout to his man beyond the arc.
Dudley made this shot, and three minutes later he made another from the exact same spot.
If the Pacers want to go small, they can continue to use Kevin Seraphin at five. If they need emergency depth, they have Rakeem Christmas. If they want more paint-bound scoring, they’re already stuck with Al Jefferson. Considering the already existing redundancy at his position along with the team’s desire to pursue high-energy flyers, it doesn’t seem likely that Lavoy Allen doing what Lavoy Allen does will be enough for the Pacers to exercise his 2017-18 option, especially not when they already reportedly extended a training camp invitation to Tyler Hansbrough.
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