The Cleveland Cavaliers are without one of their major weapons in Game 5 of their first-round series versus the Orlando Magic on Tuesday night. Cavs big man Jarrett Allen, who has been tremendous in the series, has been declared out for Game because of an upper-body injury, as reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

“Cavaliers center Jarrett Allen is out tonight in Game 5 vs. Magic due to bruised rib. Major loss for Cavs as Allen is averaging 17 points and 13.8 rebounds in series.”

This is a big blow, to say the least, to the Cavs, as Allen has played an instrumental role for the team in the first four games of the series. He is arguably Cleveland’s best player since the start of the playoffs, where he is averaging a double-double in rebounds while shooting 67.6 percent from the field and swatting away 1.0 blocks per game to go with 1.3 steals per contest. In addition, he is also leading the Cavs in the postseason in Player Impact Estimate (21.3).

With Allen out, the Cavaliers have inserted Isaac Okoro into the starting unit in Game 5.

The absence of Allen takes away a lot from the Cavaliers’ mission to regain control of the series. After winning the first two games, Cleveland fell prey to the Magic on the road in Games 3 and 4. Back at home for Game 5, the Cavs need their healthy weapons to step up and have a strong bounce back collectively.

Conversely, Allen’s absence is a huge plus for the Magic, who don’t have to deal with his size, length, and aggressiveness on the court. That should make life easier for the likes of Magic stars Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner. Banchero scored just nine points in Game 4 and could have a big rebound in Game 5 without Allen on the floor bothering him. Wagner, meanwhile, is coming off a 34-point explosion in Game 4 and could sustain his terrific form with Cleveland missing its best defensive player and rim protector.

The Cavs can only hope that Allen will not miss more time and that he will be back in action in Game 6 in Orlando this coming Thursday.

Fans react to Jarrett Allen’s injury ahead of Game 5 of Cavs vs Magic series

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

Cavs and NBA fans have all sorts of reactions to the absence of Allen.

“He’s honestly been their best player this series, that’s huge” commented @NBA_University on X (formerly Twitter).

“Wtf is everybody getting hurt this Playoffs?” a frustrated @bronisabeast said.

“Oh man. Prayers up for Jarret. Cleveland are in trouble, man,” chimed in @LakersOnX.

From Cory_Hays407: “Huge blow to Cleveland. He had been a game changer in the series. Orlando has to capitalize in the paint now with their point forwards and take advantage of Evan Mobley guarding them outside by the 3 point line.”

Another one from @anael__mevoung: “Looks like the Magic finally found a way to contain him – with some bruised ribs! Hopefully, he’ll be back in action soon and ready to bounce back in the next game.”

“Cavs season ending like this is straight PAIN,” stated a worried @jamescav29.

“Cavs play better with its just one center controlling the paint it equal more spacing we’ll see if that’s the case tonight,” posted @Christon1x.

An optimistic @LaSlattance said: “Might sound crazy but they will play better without him imo”