Much has been made about the Cleveland Cavaliers’ star guard duo of Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland, and for good reason. Both players have been crucial in the success of the team this season. However, it would be remiss for fans to ignore the efforts of other players, including former All-Star Jarrett Allen. Against the Chicago Bulls on Saturday, Allen showed why he’s integral to the success of the Cavs, per Justin Kubatko.
Jarrett Allen last night:
✅ 23 PTS
✅ 10 REB
✅ 10-13 FG
Allen has scored at least 10 points on 60% shooting from the field in each of his last 12 games, matching the longest such streak since the ABA-NBA merger.
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— Justin Kubatko (@jkubatko) February 12, 2023
Allen is more known for his defensive capabilities: the Cavs center is one of the best rim-protecting big men out there. He’s also not easily exploitable on switches because of his quick feet. Hidden behind his shot-blocking, though, is his elite rim-running and touch around the rim. You don’t shoot over 60% from the field without being a great finisher, after all.
That vertical spacing from Jarrett Allen gives more leeway for Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland to work their magic. Both Cavs guards are already deadly scorers from the pick-and-roll (Mitchell being one of the best at this). Adding another threat in the form of the rolling Allen makes that action even more potent.
The Cavs have cooled down slightly from their hot start this season, but they still sit comfortably at fourth place in the Eastern Conference. There’s still room for them to move up the standings, too: the Sixers are not far in front of them, and both the Bucks and the Celtics are in striking distance. One win-streak paired with some bad stretches of game, and this Cavs team will rocket straight to the top of the East.