Fran Dunphy, Temple’s head basketball coach, has been watching the Philadelphia 76ers-Chicago Bulls playoff series very closely. Dunphy has been watching one of his former players, Lavoy Allen, receive a great deal of playing time for the Sixers in the postseason.
Allen, former Temple standout, put on quite a show tallying 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench to help the Sixers defeat the Bulls, 109-92 on Tuesday, evening the playoff series at 1-1. The 6-foot-9 power forward is just a rookie, but played like a season veteran in the second game. Allen is preparing for Game 3 of the series, which will be played at Wells Fargo Center on Friday, May 4 at 8 p.m. Dunphy has been very pleased with Allen’s performance.
“We’re so happy for him,” Dunphy said. “We’re so proud of him. He has had a very good rookie year. I think everybody is really happy for he and his family. We’re lucky to have him be in this situation.”
Allen was the Sixers second round pick last year. He has averaged 4.1 points and 4.2 rebounds a game this season. He came to the Sixers with some great credentials. The ex-Pennsbury High star led the Owls to four NCAA tournament appearances. He was twice selected All-Atlantic 10 Conference first-team. He received all-conference honors for his defensive skills on three occasions. As a junior, he became the first Temple player to average a double-double since Ollie Johnson did it in 1970–71. He also eclipsed John Baum as Temple’s all-time leading rebounder. Dunphy knew Allen would be a good fit for the Sixers.
“I had every confidence that he would continue to be a better basketball player each and every time he got a chance to be out there,” Dunphy said. “He’s a very intelligent basketball player and one who knows his role. I’ve seen him a couple times live and many, many times on TV and a number of times when Doug (Collins, Sixers head coach) has let me come to practice. I’ve seen him a lot. I think he’s making good progress.”
In this series, Allen has to battle some outstanding players up front such as 6-foot-9 Carlos Boozer, 6-foot-11 Joakim Noah and 6-foot-9 Taj Gibson from the Bulls. The Sixers need him for defense and rebounding, but also scoring.
“Rebounding and defense has always been consistent for him,” Dunphy said. “Now, he’s really coming into his own on how to get shots and making shots. How to get them is as important as making them. I think he gets himself in good position. He knows how to fade and get to a spot that’s open and his teammates are finding him. I think that’s a great tribute to Coach Collins and his staff.”
Dunphy will be in front of his television set for Game 3 to see Allen play in another big playoff game.
“I’ll be watching,” Dunphy said. “We’re actually in a charity event at the Palestra on Friday. It starts about 7:30 p.m., but after that is over I’m going to get the DVD out and watch him. It’s going to be great to see him.”