It wasn’t hard to spot Marquis Daniels or Nate Robinson yesterday. If you were looking at the two guys wearing warmup suits at the end of the bench, that is.
Neither Daniels nor Robinson were hurt, but both played exactly the same amount of minutes against the Cleveland Cavaliers as my couch did: Zip. Doc Rivers told reporters those two guys might have to get used to a severe case of splinters.
“I told the guys [yesterday's rotation] was the rotation that we’ll use, that’s pretty much our playoff rotation, and, minute-wise, the only concern there was conditioning, and I don’t know if that played a factor in it or not.”
That means Robinson and Daniels are on the outs, and Tony Allen has earned a spot in the playoff rotation. Let that sink in. Tony. Allen. Is. A. Valuable. Member. Of. The. Celtics.
“[Allen] just plays hard,” said Rivers. “He’s our best defensive player. He’s just bought in completely to the team and the way the team plays. He’s no longer trying to score; scoring just happens. He’s trying to be the best defensive player on our team, and I think he’s figured out –‘That’s how I’m going to play.’ He gives our team energy. He really does.”
Yes, he plays hard, and yes, he’s been a hound dog defensively. But he’s also more liable to foul a three-point shooter than any other player in NBA history, or to grab a ball while it’s still on the rim for a goaltending call (still wondering why he did that yesterday, even though it probably wasn’t the right call).
I don’t think I’m the only one who has zero trust in Tony Allen come playoff time. But he’s played well, and he’s earned his chance.