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The guard from Duke understands the concerns NBA teams might have about him after four polarizing seasons with the Blue Devils during which he attracted about as much attention for play that crossed the line as he did for his accomplishments on the court.
”You have to address it, for sure,” he said Thursday at the league’s draft combine. ”It’s something that comes from my competitiveness. Competitiveness that I’ve had as a player, competitiveness that was pointed in the wrong direction and went over the line. It’s obviously something that I needed to work on and address.”
Allen said he’s gotten ”a lot better” controlling his competitiveness, without losing it.
”It’s something you don’t want to put away,” he said. ”You don’t want to put competitiveness and emotion away, so you learn to play with it. You learn to use it for your team. That’s what I’ve been saying.”
The question is whether Allen can channel that emotion in a positive direction.
He is projected as a late first-round or early second-round pick after helping Duke win a championship and at times attracting attention for the wrong reasons.
The Atlantic Coast Conference reprimanded Allen for appearing to trip two players on purpose in 2016. He served a one-game suspension by coach Mike Krzyzewski and got stripped of his captain’s title in the 2016-17 season after he got caught tripping an opponent. Though he basically stayed out of trouble this past season, Allen hip-checked North Carolina’s Garrison Brooks in the ACC Tournament.
And when it comes to the NBA, Allen no doubt has some explaining to do. With the draft on June 21, the next few weeks are his chance to ease any concerns league executives have, to show his emotions are under control.
”I think the NBA, they like competitive guys,” he said.
An overlooked member of a heralded recruiting class, Allen grabbed the spotlight as a freshman at the 2015 Final Four. He wound up providing a huge lift off the bench Kolton Miller Jersey Raiders , scoring 16 points in the championship game victory over Wisconsin that gave Duke its fifth title.
Allen put off turning pro after his sophomore and junior years because he enjoyed college and wanted to make another run at the Final Four. He averaged 14.1 points in his career and joined Grant Hill, Jon Scheyer, Danny Ferry, and Johnny Dawkins as the only Duke players with at least 1,900 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists.
Allen’s leadership and ability to blend with four freshmen in the lineup last season, particularly after a switch to a zone defense in February, were crucial for the Blue Devils. Duke just missed another trip to the Final Four with an overtime loss to Kansas, after his bank shot over two defenders at the end of regulation hit the rim, bounced off the backboard and hit the rim again before rolling off.
Now, Allen hopes to show teams these next few weeks that he is not only an intelligent player but the type of person NBA executives want in their locker room.
”I just want to answer any questions they have,” he said. ”Just kind of show my personality, just let these teams get to know me, get to know me outside of what they see on the court Jim Kelly Jersey Youth , not just what kind of player I’ll be on the floor but what kind of person they’ll have in the locker room as well.”
LAS VEGAS — With a surprising run to the Pacific Division title, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights were the feel-good story of the regular season in the National Hockey League.
Now the question is can they continue their storybook season in the Stanley Cup Playoffs? The Golden Knights (51-24-7) host the Los Angeles Kings (45-29-8) in the first game of their best-of-seven first round series on Wednesday night at T-Mobile Arena.
Vegas will be playing a veteran Kings squad that has held up the hardware twice over the last seven seasons. But the Golden Knights have a goalie in Marc-Andre Fleury (29-13-4, 2.24 goals against average) who was a key performer on three Stanley Cup champions in Pittsburgh, including each of the last two seasons, and have other veterans like forward James Neal who made it to the finals last year with Nashville.
Both will be counted on to provide the kind of leadership that will be necessary to advance in the playoffs.
“It’s more intense,” Fleury said of playoff hockey. “Every little play matters. Every win matters. I think it makes the stakes higher. … It’s fun hockey. Fun to watch.”
“Real excited,” Neal, who had 25 goals, said. “We’ve worked all year to put ourselves in this position, especially with home ice advantage. I think this city and this rink is going to be pretty crazy.”
Vegas finished 29-10-2 at home, where it sold out every contest. But it will be playing a Los Angeles team that split the season series and won both ends of a key back-to-back against the Golden Knights in late February, winning 3-2 in overtime at the Staples Center on a Dustin Brown power-play goal after Anze Kopitar tied it with 10.8 seconds remaining, and then coming back the next night at T-Mobile Arena for a convincing 4-1 victory.
“I don’t even remember that,” Kings defenseman Drew Doughty told reporters. “That’s a long time ago already. I know we’re not thinking about those two games. We’re just thinking about the opportunity in front of us Martin Kaut Blackhawks Jersey , and I know they’re not thinking about it either. Really has no impact on this series. It’s a whole new series.”
The Golden Knights, who finished fifth in the NHL in scoring with an average of 3.3 goals per game, have five players with 20 or more goals, led by center William Karlsson’s 43, and will be playing a physical, hard-checking Kings’ team that ranked No. 1 in goals against (2.46) and penalty kill (85.0 percent) and has a goalie in Jonathan Quick (33-28-3, 2.40 GAA) who also has been the backbone of two Stanley Cup champions.
“It’s about playing fast,” Vegas coach Gerard Gallant, who has rotated four lines all season, said. “We’ve talked about that all year long. When you play fast and you forecheck well, you’re going to get turnovers. People turn over the puck. … You have to force them to turn over the puck. If you give good players time to make plays, they’re going to make them. When we play fast and we play quick, we’re a good team and we get a lot of turnovers.”
“They’ve been probably the fastest team all year, and teams have had a hard time handling that speed Authentic Trent Murphy Jersey ,” Brown, who has 28 goals, said. “We’ve got to find a way to limit their speed game. I think a lot of it comes from turnovers. They’re really quick in transition.”
Another big key: just how much do the Golden Knights have left in the tank after their emotional roller-coaster ride of a season? Vegas, which was an eye-popping 27-9-2 on Jan. 2, sputtered down the stretch, going just 10-8-3 including an 8-3 home loss to New Jersey and also a 7-1 season-ending clunker at Calgary, a game that Fleury was pulled from after stopping just 12 of the 18 shots he faced.
Doughty believes it comes down to “all the little things” to winning in the playoffs.
“Blocking shots, throwing pucks at the net,” Doughty said. “(There are) a lot of crappy goals that go in during the playoffs. That’s just how it is.”