The Cleveland Cavaliers got off to a hot start this season but while many may point to the excellent play of All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell as the primary factor in their initial success, Cavs center Jarrett Allen also notes that people outside of the organization underestimated them due to their lack of experience.
Prior to facing the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night, Allen would tell ESPN’s Tim Bontemps as much, saying “[outsiders] looked at us as a young team, and you don’t expect a lot from a young team.”
“You expect them to come in and try to figure themselves out,” he explains. “But I feel like we came in and made an impact on the league.”
Make an impact on the league they did, as they quickly put the league on notice that they were a team that commanded respect on both ends of the floor. If not for the fact that this is the first time the Cavs have all but secured a playoff bid since LeBron James was on the roster, it might even be common knowledge that Cleveland will be a dangerous opponent.
Addressing Allen’s assessment, Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff sees the challenge ahead for Cleveland with the postseason around the corner. Succinctly put, the Cavs will just have to learn how to win at the highest level through trial by fire.
“If you look at all the teams that are above us, they’ve all gone through [postseasons] multiple times and had multiple sets of failures, and then somewhere they’ve been able to figure it out.”