At the moment, the Cleveland Cavaliers are fourth in the East with a 40-26 record. The red-hot New York Knicks, however, who have won nine in a row, are breathing down their necks. The Cavs currently have a one-game advantage over the Knicks for the No. 4 seed, which also secures home-court advantage for the playoffs.
For his part, Cavs big man Jarrett Allen is vocal about the importance of playing on your own home floor in the postseason. He also knows that his team will need to work extremely hard the rest of the way to make sure that they remain in the Top 4 in the conference:
“We realize in the last part of the season they’re not going to give it to us,” Allen said, via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com. “We have to go take it. We want it. We just have to find a way to have it.”
“I think that’s something that’s sought after a lot in this league. I’ve never had it, so I don’t know how important it is, but from what I hear, everybody is clamoring over it. I think it’s important.”
As Allen said, he’s never had the experience of having home-court advantage in the playoffs. He’s been in the postseason twice in the past during his time with the Brooklyn Nets, but on both occasions, his Nets exited in the opening round. The fact that they did not have home-court advantage played a key role in their early elimination.
Unlike Allen, though, Cavs teammate Darius Garland has yet to get a taste of the playoffs in his career. The Cleveland point guard is eager to make his postseason debut, and he too knows how important it is to earn home-court advantage:
“Having the crowd behind us really means a lot to us,” Garland said. “It’s like our sixth man just bringing the energy every night for us. Sleeping in your own bed definitely means a lot in the playoffs. Well, I don’t know, but I hear it from a lot of guys, it means a lot.”
“I’m fiending for it. I’ve never been there and I want to get to that point. That’s always been like a dream of mine, getting to the playoffs and hopefully winning a championship. I’m ready for the intensity. I think our squad is, I know our squad is. A lot of people on this team are fiending for it. We’re trying to do everything that we can to get there.”
The Cavs have an important game on Tuesday as they battle the Boston Celtics at the Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse. A win against the mighty Celtics will go a long way in Cleveland’s quest to secure a Top 4 finish in the conference, so you can be sure that they will be leaving everything on the floor on Tuesday night.