The Cleveland Cavaliers earned a Game 2 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday, winning by a final score of 96-86. It has been a great start to the NBA playoffs for Cleveland, as they now hold a 2-0 lead over Orlando. The job is obviously not finished, but Jarrett Allen is confident in his team following the Cavs’ 2023 playoff letdown.

“It’s very satisfying. It shows that we’ve grown not only as a team but as individuals,” Allen said after the victory, per AP Sports Writer Tom Withers, via “We’re not folding under pressure. We do have our moments, but as a whole I feel like we’ve taken a huge step.”

Allen performed well in Game 2. The Cavs center finished the game with 16 points on 6-10 shooting from the field. He recorded 20 rebounds to complete the double-double, and Allen added three assists, two steals, and three blocks.

Donovan Mitchell led Cleveland from a scoring standpoint. Mitchell ended the game with 23 points, although he was rather inefficient from the field. Nevertheless, the Cavs utilized a team effort to take care of business in Game 2.

Cavs, Jarrett Allen building positive momentum

Cleveland Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen (31) dunks beside Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (1) in the second quarter during game one of the first round for the 2024 NBA playoffs at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Cavaliers fell short in the 2023 playoffs despite entering the postseason with high expectations. This year, Cleveland has a better understanding of what to expect. The team’s postseason experience is only going to help matters moving forward.

Right now, the Cavs have no shortage of momentum. At some point in the playoffs, though, they will battle adversity. How they respond to that adversity will ultimately determine how far they will go in the 2024 postseason.

As Allen said, the Cavs have “taken a huge step.” Will they win the NBA Finals? Well, that will certainly be difficult with plenty of talented teams set to stand in their way.

The Boston Celtics will present the primary challenge in the Eastern Conference. Boston is expected by many to reach the NBA Finals at the very least. Meanwhile, the New York Knicks and Milwaukee Bucks will not back down either.

With all of that being said, it is difficult to count out this Cavaliers team. They play a team brand of basketball that forces opposing defenses to consistently adjust. Cleveland also plays hard on both ends of the floor.

On Monday, the Cavs forced 16 Magic turnovers. Cleveland also held Orlando to 36.2 percent field goal and 25.7 percent three-point shooting. In a lot of ways, the Magic are in a similar situation to where the Cavs were in recent years. Orlando features an up-and-coming roster that lacks postseason experience.

The Cavs have a major advantage, and that has been apparent through the first two games in Cleveland. The Magic will try to bounce back in Orlando during the third and fourth games of the series.

Game 3’s tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM EST on Thursday night in Orlando as the Cavs look to take a commanding 3-0 lead in the series.