One of the best perimeter defenders in the NBA today is Tony Allen of the Memphis Grizzlies. Few would dispute the fact Allen can defend some of the best players in the league, including superstar Kobe Bryant.
Kobe has had plenty of battles with Allen in the past, especially during his time with the Boston Celtics. Now Allen and Bryant are a few years older, but both continue to play at a high level.
Heading into the matchup with Allen’s Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday, Kobe talked about the elite defender. Bryant praised the veteran guard for his work on the defensive end of the floor, via ESPN’s Beto Duran:
Kobe on Memphis Tony Allen "most defenders want help all the time. Never heard him ask for help 1 time. He likes taking the challenge"
— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) November 25, 2014
Allen may be on the verge of turning 33 in January, but he’s still putting in work defensively for arguably the best team in the league averaging a career-high 1.9 steals per game. The one-time NBA champion will likely spend most of the night on Wednesday on Kobe, but may also see time on Nick Young.
Currently, the Grizzlies share the best record in the NBA with the Toronto Raptors at 12-2. Memphis is holding teams to 92.4 points per game which is the third-best average in the league behind the Houston Rockets (91.7) and San Antonio Spurs (91.3).
Although the Lakers have really struggled in the first 14 games of the season, Los Angeles matches up well with Memphis. The Grizzlies may be fifth in the NBA in three-point shooting percentage (37.7 percent), but only attempt 14.8 per game which is last in the league.
Great three-point shooting teams have torched the Lakers this season. The Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks are perfect examples of teams with the makeup to destroy Scott’s squad, but Memphis is a team that plays a style Los Angeles can contend with.
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