PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. – After a long absence, getting back into anything in life usually takes some time. Reps are needed to shake the rust off, to get comfortable again and to make strides in improvement.
Northern Arizona Suns forward/center Lavoy Allen didn’t need much time at all to shake the rust off when he joined the team after not playing in a professional game for nine months. In fact, he got off to as hot as start as any NAZ Suns player before him.
In his second game with Northern Arizona on Feb. 11, Allen tallied 14 points and 12 rebounds. He followed it up with 12 points and 12 rebounds, tying Elijah Millsap for the fewest number of games needed to get two double-doubles with NAZ. Those games in February marked his first time back on the hardwood since facing off against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
He signed with the Zhejiang Bulls in China in November, but never got a chance to suit up.
Allen was claimed by Northern Arizona in February and joined the squad as the most experienced player on the Suns. The 29-year-old had played the last six years in the NBA; two-and-a-half with the Philadelphia 76ers and three-and-a-half with the Indiana Pacers. All of that added up to 388 regular season games, where he averaged 4.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. He also played in 25 playoff games over his career for the two teams, making it as far as the Eastern Conference Finals in 2014.
When Lavoy Allen joined us in February, he hadn't played in a professional game since taking on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA playoffs.
— Northern AZ Suns (@nazsuns) April 17, 2018
The University of Temple alum played 10 games this season for Northern Arizona, averaging 9.0 points on 58.2 percent shooting, 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists per contest. His 9.0 PPG average was well above his career-best season in the NBA (5.8 PPG in 2012-13 with Philadelphia), and his 6.3 RPG average was better than his career-best 5.4 RPG average in 2015-16 with Indiana.
The Suns also saw great success as a team with Allen on the court. He had a plus-46 in those 10 games with NAZ, the third highest plus-minus mark on the team, trailing only Shaquille Harrison and Alec Peters.
Compared to the full 50-game slate in a NBA G League season, 10 games is a small sample size, but Allen showed great promise in what he can do returning to the team or latching on with another NBA squad.