"Lavoy becomes so important for us, especially with Andrew out," coach Doug Collins said. "He's our biggest, strongest guy and with Kwame and Andrew out we definitely have to keep him healthy, keep him out of foul trouble."
Allen will clearly benefit from the experience he gained in last year's postseason. He frequently guarded Kevin Garnett during the Sixers' seven-game series loss to the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
"It was a great experience going against a Hall of Famer who has been in the league a long time," Allen said of Garnett. "Seeing I could handle him a little bit gave me a lot of confidence."
Garnett certainly had his moments, averaging 19.7 points and 11 rebounds in the seven games, but Allen made him work for his shots.
The strength of the 6-foot-9, 255-pound Allen is, well, his strength.
"On defense, there are not too many guys stronger than he is," Sixers forward-center Spencer Hawes said.
Hawes recalled that during the playoffs, the Chicago Bulls in the first round and then the Celtics tried to attack Allen.
"If you remember in the playoffs, guys were trying to post him up," Hawes said. "I don't think they knew much about him and he let them know pretty quickly he wasn't moving."
In the Celtics series, Allen averaged 7.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 22 minutes.
Unlike last year's regular season when Allen appeared in just 41 of 66 games, he figures to be a much greater contributor, but he is taking nothing for granted.
"You never know how many minutes you will get, so you have to keep working," he said. "One night it may be 10, one night it could be 30, but I am always preparing to play the entire 48, just in case."
Allen may not have one spectacular skill, but his ability to contribute in many ways is among his biggest assets.
"He is so solid on both ends of the floor," Hawes said. "Offensively, his decision-making, his ability to pass, and his ability to knock down the shot is big, especially the way our offense goes."
Another difference this year is how relaxed Allen has been during the preseason. Armed with a two-year, $6 million contract that he signed in the offseason, Allen enters his second NBA season with more security.
"It was pressure last year coming into training camp and not being guaranteed a spot," he said. "This year I have kept the same work ethic, but it was a relief to come here and know I was going to be on the team."
Now with his spot assured, Allen likely will make a sizable contribution in the frontcourt.
Contact Marc Narducci at email@example.com. Follow @sjnard on Twitter.