Tony Allen: Celtics ‘missing a lot of pieces’
|01.03.13 at 12:21 am ET|
Grizzlies wing Tony Allen admitted, “I ain’t no analyst,” but he offered up an opinion of his former team anyway, and his diagnosis of the Celtics was about as pretty as their 14-17 record.
“They’re missing a lot of pieces,” said Allen, who left Boston for a three-year deal in Memphis two summers ago.
Somewhat offering his stamp of approval on the replacement of Ray Allen‘s 3-point shooting prowess with fellow veteran Jason Terry, Allen instead harped on the absence of players … well … like himself.
“I don’t think they’ve really got a defensive-minded guy yet,” added Allen. “I mean, they’ve got one [Avery Bradley], but I can’t say he’s 100 percent just yet. I don’t think they’ve got the center like Perk [Kendrick Perkins]. It’s kind of hard finding a guy like — a guy who clogs up the paint, talks trash to you and can actually back it up. They’re just missing a lot. I don’t know. I don’t see the same team from 2008.”
Still, Allen knows better than to bury a Celtics team that still features three pretty important members from that ’08 NBA championship team: Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett.
“I just know they’re a heck of a team,” he said. “They’re tough. Those guys have arrived. They’ve been there. They’ve done it before, so like they always say, you can never test the heart of a champion.”
Although, the Celtics didn’t sound confident about resuscitating that heart after losing a fourth straight game.
“To win a championship, you have to put in a lot of work,” said Terry after the 93-83 loss to Memphis. “It doesn’t happen just because the names are on the roster. I wish it was that easy, but it’s not. I’ve been there. Speaking from experience, it’s going to be a work in progress, and you won’t see the finished product until the end.”
Ever the roller coaster ride, Allen remembers well what it finally took to find that heartbeat again in Boston.
“It’s still will Ubuntu with those guys,” he said. “Much love. I love them to death. That’s my family. Like I said, it’s a brotherhood. Once I signed up for it, I committed to helping those guys get a championship every day — from the training camps up in Maine, to the long season, to getting a ring, raising a banner, the ring ceremony, all that. I just told them thanks for everything and good luck for the rest of the season.”
Unless you believe in leprechauns, the Celtics need more than luck. Actually, they could use Tony Allen.