Down goes the Nuggets! The Cleveland Cavaliers were down a lot of men, including star guard Donovan Mitchell. Yes, the Nuggets were without Jamal Murray as well. However, stopping Nikola Jokic is a monumental task. It was up to Jarrett Allen and the Cavs’ platoon of big men to stop the star in his tracks.
Well, Allen did exactly that and then some. The All-Star center frustrated the two-time MVP all night long, getting him into foul trouble. Jokic would end up with just 18 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists on the night. Allen’s Cavs teammates heaped praise on the star center after his efforts led to the upset win, per ESPN.
“Give all credit to our bigs, they did a hell of a job guarding Jokic and made it hard for him to catch the ball,” said Cavs star Garland, who also had six assists. “We were a little short-handed and our defense carried us the entire game. That was the key, I thought.”
“I thought Jarrett was phenomenal, taking the challenge guarding one of the best players in our game,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He made Jokic work for everything.”
Allen has always been one of the more underrated big men in the league. He’s no Jokic or Joel Embiid on defense, but he’s an excellent rim-runner and a terrifying presence on defense. While was a team effort, Allen’s ability to slow down Jokic gave the Cavs breathing room in a game where they badly needed that.
WIth the win, the Cavs are up to 7-6 for the season. They’ve struggled with injuries all season long, but if they’re able to pull off wins like this… they could survive this wave of ailments and come out even better.