Despite not being full healthy for tonight’s contest, the Memphis guard isn’t backing down.
Allen, via Marc Stein of ESPN:
“Our season is on the line,” Allen said. “I’m ready to go out there and compete.
“I want to be in this battle with my team.”
Asked to estimate how close he is to full strength, Allen said he rates himself at “60 [percent] maybe.”
Memphis, trailing 3-2, depends on Allen to take turns guarding Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. That’s no easy task fully healthy, but it’s even harder with a sore hamstring.
Plus, Golden State effectively neutralized Allen in Game 4 by “guarding” him with Andrew Bogut, who actually just patrolled the paint and left Allen open on the perimeter. Allen’s jumper was shaky enough that the Grizzlies had to pull him. A counter could be Allen darting around the court to set screens. But, again, that doesn’t sound like the ideal task for someone with hamstring problems.
Even a hobbled Allen should help Memphis, which was forced to depend more too much on Jeff Green and Vince Carter in Game 5. But the Grizzlies lost by 19 points. Can a hobbled Allen bridge that wide a gap?
Memphis’ best hope might be Allen’s toughness and resolve inspiring his teammates to play better.