Let me begin by saying I've never been impressed much by Tony Allen. Not as a rookie and not even when he was filling up multiple box-score columns just before he blew out his knee on an unnecessary dunk attempted after the whistle blew in a meaningless game the season BEFORE BASKETBALL RETURNED TO BEANTOWN.
I was never really down on him either.
And, truth be told, I tipped my hat to Mr. Allen when he started at point guard in place of an injured Rajon Rondo against the Lakers on 12.30.07.
Best I can tell, Mr. Allen isn't pleased with my neutral approach to all things related to him, and is trying to push the envelope.
If his goal was to get me off the fence and take sides, for or against him, he failed.
Telling the world "I'm better than Pose" doesn't really concern me. Maybe that's what he does to get himself fired up. Maybe he really believes it.
Ain't no thang.
I didn't really care when Paul Pierce told the world he was better than Kobe Bryant, either. Sure, Paul Pierce did more to earn bragging rights than T.Allen. But, in the end, both statements represent so much hot air (And compared to certain vice presidential candidates, at least the hot air coming out of the mouths of these two Boston Celtics is intelligible hot air, doggone it, if ya know what I mean--wink).
What I will say about T.Allen is this:
Amid his otherwise uneven Celtic career, he's had moments on the defensive end where he was a man among boys. Focusing only on him, I've watched T.Allen stand in front of his man and basically challenge him to do something, anything, with or without the ball.
Think Deion Sanders defending the corner in his prime.
These moments don't last long. But they're there nonetheless. And during these periods, T.Allen is the definition of a lock-down defender. He's outstanding at denying his man the ball, and when his guy gets the ball, he goes nowhere. Nowhere. The ball gets passed or an ugly shot gets thrown up.
All I care about this year is whether T.Allen can stay healthy and be Deion Sanders for 24 minutes a game.
If T.Allen can be a lock-down defender for 82 games, he'll be doing something Pose didn't do last year.
Pose was great. I loved James Posey.
But he wasn't a lock-down guy in the sense I just described.